Remembering the ‘public’ in public relations

A new survey has found that the public perceives PR pros as smart, but also duplicitous. Is that a problem that needs fixing?

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As reported in O’Dwyer’s, the outcome of the study by Texas Tech’s College of Media and Communication reads like a “good news/bad news” joke. On the bright side, compared to a decade ago, most people are more sophisticated in how they view PR people. They think we’re smart and well informed. On the other hand, they also believe we’re lying spinmeisters.

In a 2012 survey, respondents were asked to give three key words that they felt described PR. The results were then coded and compared to those in a similar 2003 survey. In the 2003 study, the most popular words associated with PR pros were “outgoing” and “friendly.” In the more recent survey, they were “liar” and “spin doctor.”

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