THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Should PR agencies drop the PR from their name? - Last week Saatchi and Saatchi revealed it is to drop the ’Advertising’ part of its name

Neil Hedges

Neil Hedges

Fishburn Hedges

’Those consultancies which include PR in their name should stick with

it. I’ve always described myself to others as a PR man and enjoy the

different responses it provokes. Increasingly, I seem to be becoming

less vilified for such a frank admission.’

Bill Jones

Lexis PR

’We have the same ’can do’ attitude as Saatchi’s have always had.

But I think it is the advertising agencies that feel boxed, in not the

PR companies. We certainly don’t feel hampered by having public

relations in our title. Public relations is an excellent generic

description of what we do. When journalists and the general public start

to call what we do communications consultancy or perception management,

then maybe we’ll think again. But public relations as a description has

its feet firmly on the ground.’

Adrian Webb

Direct Line Group

’PR is a specialism which consultancies shouldn’t fight shy of, and

no-one should drop it from their name if that’s what they do. If PR’s

reputation has suffered any damage, then PR professionals must fix it,

not drop the name.’

Jonathan Clare

Citigate Communications

’Too many people, most of whom should know better, can’t distinguish

between public relations and publicity. Public relations is as much a

discipline as marketing and is a vital tool to manage reputation. That

means making sure the people important to an organisation, or who have a

legitimate interest in its business, understand its objectives. Public

relations is a perfectly decent description for that activity but I fear

it has become irretrievably corrupted and we as an industry have to find

a better term for what we do.’

Gareth Zundel

Harvard PR

’Descriptive words alongside a principal name are easy to drop, either

to achieve brevity or to prevent problems with repositioning. A much

more dangerous constraint faces those who incorporate an industry sector

name or reference into their principal name. Committing to public

relations is one thing but committing long term to a single sector is

quite another.’

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