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April 8, 2011
'Psychobabble' or Relationships for PR?
 
From Zurich, Switzerland, Paul Seaman, of West PR-Seaman, writes about the tension in PR between science-based techniques ("getting into neuro-science and algorithms to improve, for instance, stakeholder relationships") and shoe-leather interaction with clients and their interests. He subscribes to the latter, and provides a lengthy, challenging post – "Psychobabble will not make PR credible" –  to explain why.  It's a dispatch from PR's frontier, well worth digging into and pondering.

"The social sciences," Seaman writes, "often get in a muddle when they pretend to be scientific. Economics, sociology, history and pre-history, all blaze the trail here. PR, a trade of fuzzy-logic and rhetoric and impressions if ever there was one, ought to be very nervous when its practitioners affect to have a scientific underpinning."

Find out why Seaman feels this way and consider where you fit on the axis from doing to abstracting. It's mind-stretching stuff; the comments are enlightening, too. 

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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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