The media view of the PR industry is largely fair, according to a
forum held to discuss the findings of a report produced for the PRCA on
the image of PR.
The PRCA, which is using the report to support its own strategy to boost
the professional image of the industry, marked its launch with a
Political reporting dominated the coverage and was largely negative, but
business stories showed that CEOs believe PR is important.
Lord Bell said he felt that PR received fair coverage in the media,
despite the overall neutral coverage. He added that politics and spin
skewed what would otherwise have been a positive report that related
more closely to the bulk of the work being done by the industry.
Hobsbawm Macaulay chairwoman Julia Hobsbawm agreed, but said: ’Because
the press is so closely linked with PR, it’s more serious. On any given
day over 50 per cent of the content of any paper derives from PR, and
journalists have to take more responsibility for the extent to which
they collude in that.’
Others at the forum included Max Clifford, named in the report as the
media’s ’PR guru’, PRCA chairman Adrian Wheeler, AOL Europe’s UK
corporate communications director Matt Peacock, Express journalist Peter
Oborne, and Echo Research chief executive Sandra McLeod.
The report, sponsored by Romeike and Curtice and Echo Research, was the
first of its kind. Echo analysed more than 2,500 articles published in
1999 to evaluate negative or positive mentions of PR.