“Lying to Protect the Organization: An Occupational Hazard?” revealed that 17 of the participants had lied as a matter of course in doing their jobs, and 16 said they would do it again. The pull-out quote from one participant, “Of course I lie—I lie because my CEO expects it,” made me cringe, evoking a shady Doug Stamper sent to do dirty work for a vile boss.
I’m overdramatizing after binge-watching Season 3 of “House of Cards,” and 17 PR people in South Africa is a pretty tiny sample. But there are other, larger studies that show problems. Earlier this year, video communications company D S Simon reported that 90 percent of digital journalists said they have been misled by PR pros, pointing to a problem with proper disclosure in video content distributed to news outlets.