We get bothered when we hear someone in the public eye — often in a political setting — saying "that's more PR than substance." The latest example comes from Salt Lake City, Utah, where the leader of a citizens alliance used the unfortunate phrase. Properly understood and, of course, practiced, PR stands for a rigorous, honest, open process, not evasion.
The details of this "offense" to PR are in this story from the Standard-Examiner (apparently in Utah, but another Web-centric paper that doesn't provide its location). Gov. Gary Herbert is moving to appoint an ethics panel to handle any misconduct by members of the executive branch of Utah's government, and the executive director of the Alliance for a Better Utah thinks that's a mere ("PR") ploy.
Well, even from this distance, that's balderdash. Giving ethics issues more visibility in a state government provides a number of courses (processes) for redress, if necessary. It's good public relations to have such processes (PR is actually about such means), and we'll leave it at that.
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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