Letter: Licensing PROs is no way to change image

Harold Burson is one of the all-time great PR practitioners. I had the pleasure of working with him on several occasions during my nine years at Burson-Marsteller.

But to believe that licensing PROs ('Burson urges industry to tackle poor media image,' 13 October) will counter derogatory depictions of the industry is nonsense.

A PR licence would not provide immunity from criticism of poor PR, and nor should it. For the industry to seek licensing would provoke, rather than prevent, derision.

What happened to freedom of speech? Do we really want a world where to communicate on behalf of an organisation one has to be licensed?

Is anyone naive enough to believe there will be greater public confidence in the message if the messenger is 'licensed'?

No, Harold. The best way of improving the public image of PR practitioners is to deliver communication realities. The days of PR 'perception management' are doomed. Professionals in the future will only deal with PR reality.

Steve Ellis, director, MediaAble.

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