Youthful, vibrant, and sexy.
Ever since Samantha Jones of Sex and the City graced our TV screens in 1998, public relations practitioners have not been able to lose the stereotypes associated with the character. Samantha changed the image of public relations for the 21st century. The stereotypes from media portrayals seemed to carry over into real life, thus, tinting the reputation of the people in the PR industry.
There are many misconceptions and stereotypes about public relations. These stereotypes are not only for PR professionals but also for the whole industry as well.
The Spin Doctor
Being labeled as a shameless spin doctor is the worst for a PR practitioner. According to this stereotype, PR professionals are downright dishonest. They “spin” or make up the truth. Claims are said to be made without evidences and contradictions are thrown against facts.
As a PR practitioner in world where you cannot test everything for yourself, it is up to your judgment to validate the claims of your client. You must be able to identify points would prove that what the clients are saying is true. For some, it is very easy to be caught up with the excitement of doing a big campaign for a known corporation, thus, diving immediately to work without proper research and validation of facts. This can be very risky since the industry operates under the principle of truth, trust, and integrity.
The practice related to this stereotype is the “pig in lipstick,” where PR practitioners revamp the truth so it would be palatable that it actually is. This is very unprincipled. A half-truth is still not the truth.
Who Run the World…? Girls, Girls!
Another stereotype is that the PR is a female profession. Based on studies, the industry is currently female dominated. A stereotype like this was bound to happen because there are just so many women.
Despite the fact the females outnumber the males in the industry; there are more males in the PR academe, thus, making the PR instructions male-centric. Aside from this, male PR practitioners are portrayed more positively in media than their female counterpart. Females are usually shown, if not negatively, in neutral light.
Spin Doctor and Girls running the industry.. Do you agree? Let me know what you think and watch out for the part B to learn more of the PR Stereotypes.