A recent column
insisting the word “hits,” in reference to media placements, hurts the PR industry’s reputation struck me as rather prim and mostly pointless.
I’ve grown weary of the profession’s preoccupation with its “reputation.” Face it, there are unethical jackasses in every realm, and perhaps it’s time to focus our energy on other issues.
The column in question got me thinking about when valid preoccupations/debates become counterproductive. Don’t get me wrong; internal dialogue is essential for all professions, but there comes a point when an issue has been dithered over so much that it becomes a collective neurosis.
Here are a few other never-ending topics in PR that might have passed their freshness dates in terms of value and productivity.
The value of “Add Value Equivalency (AVE).”
PR professionals aren’t admen. The way people react to an ad versus an editorial piece differs. This should be enough to kill AVEs. If members of the C-suite ask about AVEs, educate them
Who owns social media?
The answer is “it depends.” (Read: there is no one answer.) In fact, there’s not even an easy, cookie-cutter framework to figure this out.
The definition of PR.
My mom and wife aren’t exactly sure what I do for a living. They certainly can’t explain it succinctly to their friends. In this, I am not alone among my fellow PR pros. Though it’s laudable to try to bang out a definition of PR, every time an industry body does so, we end up looking like master obfuscators. PR pros do many different things, and there is no monolithic job description because of the flux the industry is in. Maybe that’s enough.
Thoughts? Am I too much of a curmudgeon on this?
A version of this story first appeared on the blog Proper Propaganda.