EDITORIAL: Reputation under PRCA microscope

This week The Communication Group picked up an exciting and

challenging account. The client: the Public Relations Consultants

Association. The objective: to display to the business community the

commercial worth and value of public relations - in a nutshell, to

improve the reputation of PR.



Last month we asked some of those PR practitioners most courted, quoted

or featured by the media to respond to the PR challenge of how to

improve the image of the industry. Their responses were varied but

proved the need for a strategic approach, such as this.



The decision to hire a PR firm forms part of the forward-thinking

Building Market Confidence initiative formulated (coincidentally) in the

immediate aftermath of 11 September, and given added impetus by the

economic fall-out. The aim of the campaign is quite simply to take

charge of the PRCA's own reputation and that of its members and its

services, and to support those members during the current economic

downturn.



With this latest move, the PRCA has proved a certain willingness to be

resilient in the face of the swathe of uninformed commentary on this

industry. But the real test will lie in the speed and resourcefulness of

the PRCA's issues management team and TCG in responding to the

reputation crises that will, no doubt, continue to crop up in the

future. And when those crises do emerge, the challenge remains to add to

the cast of charismatic and positive representatives of the industry as

a focus for the media.



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