Ask yourself this question: If a foreign government known for subjugating its people approached you with a lucrative PR contract, what would you say? What if your boss asked you to work on a similar account? Would you say no—even quit?
If you would choose to work with one of these governments, chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America Rosanna Fiske has a message for you: You are, in effect, “counseling enemies of global democracy.”
“In trying to improve tyrants’ images and reputations, these firms are damaging America’s international reputation,” Fiske writes in a blog post for The Hill. “And with the S&P downgrade, the U.S. can ill afford another reputational hit.”
Agencies such as Brown Lloyd James, Bell Pottinger, Potomac Square Group, Qorvis Communications, and Monitor Group have grabbed headlines for working with Libya, Syria, and Bahrain.