NEW YORK: The media takes a generally favorable view of PR and its use for corporate image and reputation building, according to a new study by CARMA International.CARMA's analysis, commissioned by PRWeek, also found that PR still has image problems. Of the 698 articles CARMA analyzed, 57% mentioned PR in a favorable way, while 43% mentioned it in an unfavorable way. The articles that were analyzed appeared from January 1 through July 31 in major print and broadcast outlets. CARMA found that slightly more than 20% of articles mentioned PR favorably in terms of rebuilding image. But nearly 20% also said PR distorts reality. Slightly more than 15% of the articles said PR helps the bottom line, but just over 10% said PR just means publicity stunts. Jennifer Hoffmann, a senior analyst at CARMA who analyzed survey results for PRWeek, said, "The main thing that came through is that the use of PR proactively" to build image is generally seen favorably by the media. However, she added, PR efforts viewed as attempts to cover up facts or to manufacture media attention when none is warranted are generally lambasted. Less than 1% of the articles specifically mentioned PR as a respected industry, but more than 5% said PR educates the public on worthwhile causes. An analysis of the industries whose stories were most likely to mention PR showed that politics/government came out on top. Out of 123 total mentions, 57 were favorable or neutral, while 66 were negative.
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