Asked to identify the sector’s greatest weakness, 36 people pointed to an inferiority complex or lack of self-confidence. That was the most popular answer in the Power Book, ahead of difficulties in quantifying PR's impact.
Fifteen highlighted the curious fact that PR struggles with its own PR.
Twenty-seven Power Book entrants identified ‘reputation’ as the profession’s problem. Many believe the image of 'PR fluff' persists, and some stress the association with the dark arts: "From spin doctors to Machiavellian masters, and of course, Malcolm Tucker," said David Wilson, head of UK PR at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
Nine said PR’s greatest weakness is its name.
Others urge the industry to look closer to home. There is "too much bullshitting", bemoaned Alex Parsons, director of group comms at Imperial Tobacco. The Ministry of Defence’s Stephen Jolly pointed his finger at the sector’s "’parties, balloons and blondes’ faction".
Shallow, self-important, slow to react, lazy, arrogant and detached from the real world are more of the sharp criticisms levelled by some of the industry’s biggest names.