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January 4, 2013
PR Isn't 'Snake Oil'
 
People concerned about the role and standing of public relations, and I assume that means most of us, ought to hang out for a while on a site like HealthNewsReview.org. Sure it's an activist site concerned with exposing PR drivel. But folks, the temptation to issue drivel is growing as news staffs and their capability to provide effective editorial review shrink. It needs to be resisted, for the good of the craft.

PR isn't snake oil. It's a means of building respectable, valued relationships, not just getting one's name in the paper on material that disappoints anyone who might pursue it. PR has had too many of this sort of practitioners already and the temptation may be growing for more of them to emerge. It needs to be opposed by the craft's actual professionals.

Reading through Health News Review's "3rd annual year-ender on health care PR crap we receive" will give you ample insight into the threat that easier access to newsrooms may hold. Now, more than ever, is the time to be facutal and responsible in news releases, nothing less.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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