ANALYSIS: BIG QUESTION; Does the reputation of PR really matter?

Peter Gavan National Grid Group

Peter Gavan National Grid Group

‘The only real demonstration of our value is what we achieve for our

companies, or clients in the case of agencies. The more time we spend

discussing PR and the meaning of life, the more we’re distracted from

what we’re about. Our reputation will always be determined by the value

we add. Whatever we call ourselves at the end of the day, our value will

be gauged by those around us.’

Chris Laming Stena Line

‘It matters more than anything because reputation is the most precious

asset we have. Both as organisations and as individuals, we exist as an

industry to obtain and maintain healthy reputations. Anyone who suggests

the reputation of PR doesn’t matter is nuts.’

Jane Atkinson Atkinson Courage

‘Of course it matters. We can’t expect to protect the reputation of

clients unless we can do it ourselves. It’s crucial that journalists

respect our profession and we can damage our reputation by not finding

out what journalists really need.We should work on our reputation out of

respect for those who use our services.’

Julia Thorn Paragon Communications

‘Yes, but what matters most is the reputation of those which PR seeks to

serve. It makes our job easier if the merits of the discipline are

appreciated, but we can secure an equally effective outcome if they’re

not. Lawyers, politicians and journalists are the most reviled

professionals but they don’t let it preoccupy them. We should forget our

hang-ups and concentrate on doing the job.’

Euart Glendinning Morgan Stanley Europe

‘I’m concerned about the level of introspection among industry

practioners. Let’s look at the facts. In the financial services industry

PR is increasingly being seen as a vital marketing tool. Surely if we

focus on getting results, any potential problems of reputation will be


Julian Henry Lynne Franks PR

‘The image of PR is shaped by the showbiz end of public relations.

People look at Max Clifford and presume that’s what it is about. The

problem is that PR is perceived as being juvenile and fluffy. Inspired

marketers know how productive it can be but they are in a minority.’

The Big Question is edited by Lexie Goddard

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