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A passport to PR: Answering three questions from young public relations professionals

Louis Payette presents at Passport to PR session

A throwback to our last Passport to PR presentation, featuring our Account Director Louis Payette.

Last week, Argyle Communications’ Toronto office was honoured to be one of four workplaces to receive a visit from a large group of public relations students as part of the Canadian Public Relations Society’s Passport to PR program.

In covering the event, Marketing Magazine asked me to answer three questions commonly asked by aspiring public relations professionals.

What’s the best advice you have for graduating PR students?

You need great communication skills, but that’s just the start. Success in PR is about having a view of the entire organization and its environment. Work on your business literacy because no matter where you work, or who your client is, you have to understand their business.

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March 18th, 2015 | Posted in Ideas | 0 Comments

PR & journalism: Scandal shows perils of blurred boundaries

When it comes to reputation, there is little distinction between a real conflict and a perceived one

Image source: PR Conversations

As media scandals go, it was a big one for Canada: The revelation that for the past two years one of the nation’s better-known TV news anchors was a part owner of a small public relations firm. Even more unnerving was that the anchor — and, on occasion, other journalists affiliated with the network — interviewed his agency’s clients on show segments. Both his equity stake and regular participation in the agency, not to mention profile and participation of clients, were apparently concealed from both his employer and the viewing public.

For public relations practitioners committed to ethics and professionalism, the natural first instinct was self-righteous shock. Most codes of ethics are clear about why this is wrong. For example, the Canadian Public Relations Society’s Code of Ethics states that a PR professional “shall deal fairly and honestly with the communications media and the public” and “neither propose nor act to improperly influence the communications media.”
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January 26th, 2015 | Posted in Ideas | 0 Comments

No more Fords: A challenge for PR, politicians, journalists & citizens

Ethical PR, strong journalism and greater participation are keys to better governance

Image source: Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Toronto’s long local nightmare is over. After generating global attention for the unethical and illegal behaviour of Rob Ford, the outgoing mayor – and the city’s incomprehensible inability to remove him from office – Toronto City Hall is in saner, wiser hands.

Why is this topic relevant to an international public relations blog? When practised at its best, PR is the discipline that aims to build mutual understanding and trust, and to aid in the essential accountability between leaders, organizations and society. Yet the Ford administration used public relations as a tool of deceit and distortion, often with alarming success. We cannot assume this will not happen again in Canada; indeed, it occurs too frequently from leaders of governments, businesses and other institutions all over the world. What can we learn from Toronto’s example?

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December 3rd, 2014 | Posted in Ideas | 1 Comment

Argyle in photos

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