Last Updated Jun 13, 2008 1:40 PM EDT
It happened on CBS Sunday Morning [I resisted posting this all week but felt called to post it today]. Commentator and legal analyst Andrew Cohen:
"Apparently, an industry the very essence of which is to try to convince people that a turkey is really an eagle has a rule that condemns lying.Of course, PRSA couldn't avoid taking Cohen's bait:
Thestates: "We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent..." This clause strikes me as if the Burglars Association of America had as its creed "Thou Shalt Not Steal."
Show me a PR person who is "accurate" and "truthful," and I'll show you a PR person who is unemployed.
The reason companies or governments hire oodles of PR people is because PR people are trained to be slickly untruthful or half-truthful. Misinformation and disinformation are the coin of the realm, and it has nothing to do with being a Democrat or a Republican."
"Contrary to baseless assertions, truth and accuracy are the bread and butter of the public relations profession. In a business where success hinges on critical relationships built over many years with clients, journalists and a Web 2.0-empowered public, one's credibility is the singular badge of viability. All professionals, including attorneys, accountants and physicians, aspire to ethical standards, and public relations professionals are no different, always striving for the ideal."Catching Flack's take on this: Mr. Cohen, the legal profession has more than its share of liars and truth-shaders. In fact, it could be argued that lawyers are simply a better trained and better compensated group of liars and truth-shaders. Your self-righteousness rings rather hollow.