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I think it's a narrow view that states PR is about stressing the "good" aspects a client or product. PR firms are, at their root, a proxy between the client and some other party. People don't run around with the sole motivation of saying good things about themselves, so neither should PR.

Take a theoretical situation where a party has been genuinely slandered, and hires a PR company to set the record straight. It's not a good/bad thing -- it's about truth.

The cynic in me would like to agree that life is always selling something. But it's not true, and the technology is so atomizing marketplaces that they increasingly behave like real life, rather than kabuki theatre. In real life, we speak, we interact, and we're social. PR people who can't genuinely operate this way with be genuinely unhappy with the result.

Nice piece. Really has me thinking.

Valeria - I think that manipulation in PR is more related to guiding the conversation much in the way a skillful debater has prepared thoughts for various viewpoints. We should be prepared for a variety of conclusions by our communities, but not coerce the conversation. I agree with Len in that it's not a PR issue. I think it is an organizational culture issue being directed by questionable leadership and business practices.

btw, the slidedeck is awesome - great visuals! Thanks for sharing.

- @vedo

Valeria,

I spent years as an Army Psychological Warfare Specialist leading a propaganda development team.

Great & insightful post.

Are you sure we did not serve together in the Army? :))))

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