EDITORIAL: Shrill attack on PR still rings hollow

Bryan Appleyard's attack on PR in The Sunday Times two weeks ago continues to ruffle feathers. For those who missed it, he described the industry as 'scum,' colluding with lazy journalists to pull a confidence trick on an unsuspecting public.

What causes this ire? To some, leaving media relations to the inexperienced shows the industry's weakest side to the people in need of seeing its strongest. And indeed, this may be part of the problem. But the people named in The Sunday Times - Freud, Clifford, Bell - are not the PR world's ingenues: they are its grandees.

PRCA chairman Graham Lancaster used last week's conference dinner to spell out his theory of modern journalism - 'survival of the shrillest' - according to which the only way journalists survive is by out-shrieking their competitors.

This may be right, but as Lancaster himself pointed out, Appleyard's piece was as rude about journalism as it was about PR. Perhaps journalists have thicker skins.

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