Honesty in PR: The Truth will set you free?

Honesty or Survival?

In this crazy social media world that we are engulphed in, we are aware and sometimes unaware to the extent in which public relations is utilised to save the reputations and business of many celebrities, companies, influencers, government and numerous others. The question, however, is good public relations being honest, or is good public relations doing whatever/saying whatever to save themselves, whether that be honest or dishonest.

What are the consequences of dishonesty in PR?

As with any profession, there are always going to be dishonest and inefficient workers. As a PR specialist I think it is very important to have good intentions and to be honest. Additionally, when people have been deceived, the trust is eroded. This makes them more likely to put time-sucking checks and balances in place in an attempt to maintain and gain control.

Is honesty the final piece to the PR puzzle?

Examples of unethical conduct in PR

Overselling capabilities

. Some PR agencies that give you promises and guarantees that may not match their actual employment ethic.

 • Circumventing the subject of measurement.

The PR firm ought to be subject matter to confer winder metrics, reporting strategies and return on investment.

 • Deficiency of transparency.

The PR agency may not divulge exactly to whom they are, pitching, but they should definitely be willing to discuss how they are positioning the company and what media mercantile establishment they are targeting.

 • Blatant lying.

Claiming to haveclient, tangency and resources they don’t have are some of the way’s PR professionals can deceive

. • Underhanded tactics.

While it’s amercement to develop creative , movement some take things too far by planting misinformation to make clients look better or making false statements to attract attention. When the populace discovers this kind of behaviour, the good reputation of the entire system is at risk. Remember this: If someone can be dishonest for you, he may just as easily be dishonest to you.

 In my personal opinion that’s what a specialist in PR should do and I it IS in fact what the role should entail. However, same believe that good PR is using whatever method, honest or not to get out of the situation or to save their reputation. Personally, as a so called ‘Gen-Z’, I see public scandals with bloggers and Instagram influencers every week. As a reader in the scandals, I look for honesty. I believe it depicts true remorse, responsibility and will to improve or be better. For example, a tiktok influencer Tony Lopez was recently involved in a scandal which involved him being accused of making inappropriate sexual advances to minors. I imagine that he was advised to stay silent on social media while the scandal arise as he went ghost on all social media platforms. He the released a statement saying he was going to do better, and it is getting resolved behind the scenes. This sort of response instigated a flood of comments asking, is he accepting responsibility or not? Therefore, in this case we don’t actually know the truth, however, I believe that it was the most appropriate response that was obviously advised by publicists. In this case he didn’t try and depict himself as a victim of allegations, nor did he try and lie himself out of it. However, people are always wanting and NEEDING the truth.

Working as a publicist or in the PR world it is vital that you deliver your job effectively and efficiently. I believe that there needs to be an established relationship with the employer and the PR specialist. There needs to be an understanding of moral similarity. For example, a business may aim to deliver honest responses, and if not, if they aim to deliver responses to save themselves, whether it be honest or dishonest, then the employee needs to be ok with that.

This is only a slight overview of this topic. I will explain further in my next blog thank you for reading.

Caoimhe Cullinan is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University.