NEWS: Holmes avoids the issue of UK PR at PRCA debate

It was billed as the UK PR industry’s chance to get its own back. Paul Holmes, editor of US magazine Inside PR and author of a scathing attack on the UK PR industry accepted an invitation to defend his view that the UK is looking ‘more and more like a Third World country’ as far as PR is concerned.

It was billed as the UK PR industry’s chance to get its own back. Paul

Holmes, editor of US magazine Inside PR and author of a scathing attack

on the UK PR industry accepted an invitation to defend his view that the

UK is looking ‘more and more like a Third World country’ as far as PR is

concerned.



Speaking at the PRCA last week Holmes instead tackled the state of the

US PR industry. While PR is recognised as a ‘policy level function in

most successful corporations,’ saidHolmes, ‘the PR people within most

corporations are not fit to be at the policy level.’



Instead companies are turning to the legal, human resources or finance

departments and to lawyers, accountancy firms and management consultants

instead of PR firms. The answer, said Holmes, was for PR firms to invest

more in recruitment and training.



Stressing that good PR people had a lot to offer - Holmes said that ‘in

any sane and rational world marketing should report to PR and not the

other way round’. Companies, he said, needed to create a culture in

which everyone understood the importance of reputation and acted

consistently.



The ownership of PR firms by advertising agencies he described as ‘a

moral evil’, saying it encouraged PR people to acquiesce when clients

suggested they could advertise their way out of a public relations

disaster.



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