More than just spin

Today’s Financial Times includes a brilliant good news article about the PR industry. The article “A good PR consultant is worth the money” demonstrates the real investment and return that we can offer clients and why even the best in-house PR team can derive value from external consultants and agencies. I was delighted to see the comments “the industry has moved on from the early days of spin to embrace communications with investors, regulators, politicians and other discreet audiences”. The notion of spin and spin doctors, which became an all too fashionable phrase under New Labour, is still a stigma that is often attached to our industry. We need to continue to educate clients and investors about the real opportunities and gains that PR provides and escape the notion of spin once and for all! PR consultants and agencies inject new ideas, new angles and fresh thinking into their client’s business and their strategies, and should be part of the ongoing strategic direction of a brand.

When it comes to digital, it’s certainly true we have gained more favourably out of the digital revolution than many other sections of the marketing mix, but I don’t think we have recognised its full potential – especially in the healthcare sector. Digital is more than a neat tactical add-on to a communications programme, for some brands it is a strategic imperative and needs to be treated as a standalone capability that offers real value in its own right. So let’s not rest on our laurels on reading this today

  • Keith Trivitt

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Catherine. Luke Johnson’s FT column was superb, and provided an excellent analysis of the strategic business value of public relations AND why that value has increased substantially over the past decade (a big reason, as you note, goes back to PR’s leadership in utilizing social media and digital communications for client campaigns).

    Gary McCormick, chairman and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), offered some additional commentary on to Mr. Johnson’s column. I invite you to take a look:

    Addressing your point about the profession looking at social media as more than just a simple tactic, Vocus released an interesting survey this week ( on PR pros’ 2011 areas of focus. While the survey found that a general focus on social media will be down in 2011, several commenters (myself included) noted that this is likely due to the profession moving past thinking of social media moving as being the new, novel thing to experiment with. It is becoming part of our everyday focus. Which, thankfully, means far more focus on developing strategy around the utilization of social media.

    I have to say, after reading yesterday’s FT column on the business value of PR, it’s looking like 2011 is shaping up to be a very good year for the profession.

    Keith Trivitt
    Associate Director of Public Relations
    Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

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