It was some time ago, dearest blog trotters, that I posted this piece, which dealt with an article in ye olde Evening Staaaaaandard of foggy London Town (do the light clickdango and see for yourselves) in which – as a passing and, it has to be said, quite humorous, aside – the PR profession was lumped together with terrorism and the sex-trade as being – erm – a ‘flexible’ sector of the economy.
Anyway, as you’d expect, I go off on one about it. And yes, I’m self-aware enough to realise that – instead of wailing and roaring at the sky, rending my garments and gnashing my teeth – I should probably try and do something to rectify the situation, given that I’ve been aware of the PR image problem for almost as long as I’ve been on the game, and while I feel justified in saying that I’d like the £200 I give to the CIPR each year to be spent on mitigating against it (not too much to ask, I don’t think), I know that if you want something done properly, you’ve got to do it yourself.
Only. Just as you’re about to gird up your loins and draw your sword of PR truth and justice (are you sniggering at the PR sword, or my loins? It’s hard to tell), thinking that, maybe, just this once, this time it’ll be different, you find that not only is PR’s image problem alive and well, it seems to have taken on new depth (if I can term it thus) and, to cap it all, it’s being fluffed by the the sort of horrible PR luvvy that gave it a bad name in the first place.
What came first – the stereotype or the image problem?
Whatever – have a gander at this.
It’s the scary and salutary story of PR people Kathryn Kirton and Jamie Kaye, who – long story short – fiddled the budget and defrauded their employer/client out of £19k and £5k respectively. How they thought they were going to get away with this, the Lord only knows. It is completely half-arsed. Had the scam had a whole arse, they – I put it to you – would have got away with a hell of a lot more. So not only stupid and dishonest, but with added stupid. Couldn’t even come up with a good scam.
Now, this would have been enough to – once again – drag the profession through the dog doo. PR people – liars and cheats and – damningly – not very good at it. But there’s more. Here’s what m’lud, Judge John Hillen, has – in his wisdom – to say about PR. Bear in mind that he had undoubtedly formed this opinion before being exposed to the twatmonsters Kirton and Kaye, as he obviously factored it in when reaching his conclusions.
“(Judge John Hillen) said the case reflected the temptations on offer in (the PR) profession.
‘In the world of PR you are surrounded by luxury items. That is reality for people working in that industry but this is not the place to explore the PR industry,’ the judge told them.”
Let’s just take a moment, shall we? I personally will use this time out to survey the luxury items that I am surrounded by and that make up the reality of working in this – what? Sorry? Oh. Yes. It’s nonsense. Absolute crap. There are no luxury items and it is not my reality.
So in this round of what came first, stereotype or image problem, I’d have to go image problem, but just by a short luxury item. I guess we could go further and ask whether the image problem attracts the wrong people, or whether the wrong people create the image problem – but frankly, life is to short.
We need to do something about it. And I guess that means me.