Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

There was recently an interesting blog posted on the Client Service Insights (CSI) Web site dealing with the issue of lying. That is because many people view the PR industry as an industry that is chock full of liars. No longer do practitioners of PR simply “spin” the truth, but now they’re simply accused of lying.

Although, just as the blog claims, we all lie. It is not a question of whether or not you lie, it is moreso a question of whether or not you’re lying acceptably. Lies that are meant to keep someone’s feelings from being hurt are deemed acceptable, I think everybody can agree on that. However, it’s when lies become so big and so exaggerated that people couldn’t even get to the truth if they wanted that the real problems arise.

PR needs to be transparent. To connect with clients, shareholders, potential clients, the media and whomever else you may be aiming for, you need to first build trust. If from the very get go you decide that you aren’t going to be straight forward with the people you’re working with, then there really is no possibility for that relationship to grow or flourish, it will always be stunted by your lies. Be honest, is that really how anyone should start a business relationship? Easy answer, I know.

Unfortunately, outsiders to the PR industry already have a particular idea of how truthful/untruthful PR practitioners are, and it is a stereotype that needs to be broken. Fortunately, there are some up-and-coming individuals in the industry who give me hope. For example, my brother’s long time girlfriend works within the industry for Yahoo’s media relations department. While I can’t say whether or not she might “spin” the truth when necessary, I am comfortable with claiming that she lies a whole lot less than any other person I have ever met.

It’s time for the PR industry’s stereotypical image of liars to change. Let’s show the world that we can be both honest and amazing at our jobs at the same time. Let the transparency begin.

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