Communications professionals are notoriously called spin masters, an abhorrent description that doesn't apply to everyone, yet it's an easy bucket to toss us all in. Like with all professions, there are good eggs and bad apples. Those that demonstrate everything positive and beneficial with the profession, and those who make everyone else hate us. The latter are typically the spin masters.
As my fellow PR pros have stated, debunking the spin myth is one of the largest battles we deal with (outside of help our clients with their business and communications challenges). We work with journalists to ensure they are telling fair and balanced stories and have all of the correct facts and figures to best inform their audiences. Of course we love glowingly positive write-ups about our clients... who doesn't?? But should we -- and more importantly, ARE we -- spinning information in our favor? No.
Honesty, along with transparency, is the strongest resource we have at our disposal. Our reputations rely on journalists trusting what we say and share with them. If we start stretching the truth, our careers are in jeopardy.
Before making a statement publicly, look at it from all angles and ideally have third party sources to help back up your claims. Also make sure other sets of eyes, ideally from a different department like legal, takes a quick look. If you don't know the answer, don't make something up on the fly. And very rarely, and only in few situations, should you use the terms "never" and "always." When claiming a new product, feature or service is the "first ever", are you 100% positive that is the case? Are there legitimate sources out there that can rebuke your claims?
Things change very rapidly in today's world; everything from a small product review or a data hack to the shifting economy and evolving policies can very easily affect what was said yesterday or 10 years ago.
Like we were all told as children, once you tell a tiny fib, then you have to remember the fib and who you've told that fib to. It gets more and more complicated the further you go down the little white lie road. And it will be all for not at the smallest slip-up. It all unravels and, worst of all, no one trusts you after that.
Spinning makes you dizzy. Why would you do that to yourself or to others?
Welcome to ROAMings, a compilation of thoughts and musings about the PR and media industries. This is an opportunity to discuss the “here and now” of the industry, interesting events or case studies, pivotal moments that affect how we approach PR, etc. It isn’t about brand loyalties or preferences -- and we will not be publishing self-promotional materials or talk about our clients in this setting -- but how those brands, individuals and events are leveraging (or in some cases abandoning) PR.