THE “CREATIVE LIAR” NOTION: BOUND FOR EXTINCTION, TOO
Unfortunately, in many countries, PR as an industry and profession has a negative connotation for the general public.
“This is only PR!” people might say, using the phrase as a euphemism for lying and deception.
Several years ago, I was in a cab in New York City. The driver, an immigrant from the Indian subcontinent, asked me, “What’s your job, sir?”
“I am in business,” I said.
“What business exactly? What’s your job?” he insisted.
“Public relations,” I said, yielding.
Then he turned around and said, “Oh, so you are a creative liar!”
This is probably the most accurate expression of the bad connotation of our profession worldwide: a good PR expert is a creative liar.
This perception implies that, on the one hand, you misrepresent the facts, but on the other hand, you do that in the most creative way possible.
If the PR industry suffers from this negative reputation, it is because many people associate our profession with politicians and business people who use various contrivances and tricks to conceal or whitewash their flaws and wrongdoings.
Nevertheless, the perception of the PR expert as a “creative liar” is going to die over the next few years. It will dissolve as a notion in the public mindset, because liars simply cannot exist in modern PR life.
The moment a person lies somewhere (online), ten others are going to show up to expose the lie, wherever it might be, on any social media platform.
Regardless of this forecast, however, we still must take into account the fact that many people used to lack a decent understanding of our profession, and many still do.
Excerpt from Maxim Behar's New book The Global PR Revolution, published by Allworth Press and distributed by Simon & Schuster.
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