19 August 2009

PR fighting a losing battle?

UK-based academic Richard Bailey always produces provocative comments. In his latest post he examines why PR is losing the battle to get people to understand what it is.

I can't understand what the problem is. It must be the academics who teach PR. After all, they form the opinions of most people practising PR today - apart from some of those who came from the era when journalists entered PR (and some still do).

At the University of Notre Dame Australia (Fremantle) we have a combined marketing/PR degree, situated in a School of Business - an ideal combination. In their first PR lecture (2 hours) there are two topics - the history of PR (a US perspective) and the difference between PR and marketing. One of the first essay topic choices is on the difference between marketing and PR.

It's a simple process ... unless academics just don't get it (which I imagine many don't). Then again, I heard a senior PR "professional" talking about PR as just being about media. Hmmm. Maybe we are losing.

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The PR Lab is a consultancy, specialising on research, reputation management, social media, media relations and the development of measurable strategies that produce results. It is run by Dr Greg Smith, a former journalist and PR professional. Greg worked on daily newspapers in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. He held senior PR positions in the Australian Defence Force, Sydney Olympics and national not-for-profits. He has also lectured in PR at Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame Australia.