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A Role for PR in 2014: Communication with Conscience

PR professionals will increasingly see themselves as the conscience of their organizations

This article appeared previously in the Public Relations Society of America’s “PR in 2014″ series on January 23, 2014.

Nestle Cocoa Plan logo

DHL Express logo

The Nestle Cocoa Plan and DHL are two examples of how to communicate with conscience.

In both public relations and marketing, the idea of using content to engage audiences was everywhere in 2013, marking a shift from transaction-driven communication to brand storytelling that provides information, education or entertainment to audiences, and to those who influence them.

As this trend accelerates in 2014, senior PR professionals will give more thought to what makes our profession distinct in this new environment. Because our core function is rooted not in the sale of products and services but rather in the building of relationships for mutual benefit, PR will see itself more and more as the conscience of the organization, as summed up in the theme of the 2014 World Public Relations Forum: Communication with conscience. more »

January 27th, 2014 | Posted in News | 0 Comments

Seven crisis communication lessons from Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s crack-smoking confession

Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford, has become a global tabloid celebrity after ending six months of denials with a dramatic admission that he smoked crack cocaine in one of various “drunken stupors.”

The crisis is worsening by the day. The mayor’s admission came after the police recovered a mysteriously deleted video allegedly showing him smoking crack in the company of drug dealers while making racist and homophobic comments. One of the drug dealers was later murdered, and more evidence is now emerging of clandestine meetings and hundreds of conversations between Mr Ford and another alleged dealer charged with extortion, potentially in attempts to recover the video. more »

November 8th, 2013 | Posted in News | 0 Comments

Is the communication revolution good for democracy?

The answer depends on the ethics and values of communication professionals

Iranian presiden speaks at UN general assembly

Iranian president addresses UN general assembly. Image from theguardian.com

Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, recently used public relations in surprising ways, using the tools of other nations’ democracy to gain influence through communication.

Writing in the New York Times in September, Mr. Putin made a case against U.S. military intervention in Syria directly to the American people. He invoked shared values between the two countries, positioning himself on the side of international law, human rights and democracy, stressing his preference for “peaceful dialogue” over the “language of force.”

Days later, Iran’s new president made a similarly unlikely foray into public diplomacy. Breaking with his incendiary predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr. Rouhani used interviews with Western media and a speech to the United Nations to renounce his nation’s nuclear ambitions and promise a new dialogue with “full transparency.” more »

October 23rd, 2013 | Posted in Ideas, News | 0 Comments

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