Good PR is Never Spin

What is PR

By John Masterson

08 August 2014

Like many people who work in PR I bristle a little when I hear the word ‘spin’. At its worst it implies that a PR consultant is happy to tell lies on behalf of their client. At its kindest it means something like accentuating the positive with no regard whatsoever for the negative sides of their client’s position.  Neither are practices a good PR professional would advise or engage in.

The truth is a good starting point because it is usually where we all end up in the long run. There is no point if getting a restaurant publicity if we know that there are problems with the food, service, pricing, ambience or whatever. If you use your contacts to get publicity for a venture that is not what you say it is you can rest assured you will not have your contacts for long. You can only sell a pup once. When I was the other side of the fence and being pitched to in RTE I well remember the difference between PR companies who delivered what they said they would, and the ones that let you down. The latter only did so once and probably wondered why they never got past the front door again. In overpromising one always does the client a disservice.

Truth can be presented in many different ways. What is left out may cause as much damage as what is communicated. It is the job of the PR consultant to present the facts in the most advantageous manner for their client. But if the truth becomes twisted it will most likely end up leaving your client with explaining to do, and if you are explaining you are losing.

I always go back to the definition of a lie as the ‘intention to mislead’ and that usually clarifies any issues.