February 20, 2006 by Colin
Julilan Henry, in the Guardian, launches a broadside against every “specialist” in public relations who doesn’t actually come into contact with the media, the customer, or the public:
“Most of the major PR agencies in the UK construct their business around writing strategies, drawing up Q&As, drafting positioning statements, scripting advertorials, collating briefing packs, printing press kits and countless other bits of waffle that underpin our daily trade. This rationalising process gets charged to the clients, who in most cases seem happy to pay for it as they have been told that these are necessary building blocks in the construction of the great PR event.
Get rid of all this stuff and you would demolish half the industry at a single sweep. All those miserable pen pushers down at HQ who are kept busy filling out evaluation forms all day? They’d be out the door. And the trends analysis team who sit stroking their chins and flicking through fashion magazines? Well, sorry, but they’re toast too.
If you were to reduce the role of the PR consultant to its most basic function what do you have? The man or woman on the phone whose job is simply to offer a description of their client’s product in a topical, creative and engaging way.
It’s a horrible truth that the more you work for major brand clients, the more likely you are to be dragged away from this pure and poetic form of public relations and sucked into an awful machine that denies spontaneous thought and starts the process of immediate corruption of intent. …”(Guardian, reg. req.)