Working for a nonprofit may be a rewarding experience, especially if the organization is aligned with your personal beliefs. Public relations professionals who work in the nonprofit sector often consider themselves lucky that they can use their skills to fight for a cause that they truly believe in. However, working for a nonprofit isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Due to shoe-string budgets and a focus on maximizing resources, often one person is tasked with doing the same amount of work that would be shared among many in the for-profit world.
When a tragedy occurs, PR professionals should understand that there is a fine line between an opportunity and shameless self-promotion. This week, with the death of beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams, we had the unfortunate opportunity to see many practitioners blatantly step over the line for the benefit of their clients and organizations. While some misdirected tactics may be a lesson in how not to respond to a tragedy, we have benefited from some appropriate responses.
via: iñaki de luis
The PRSA public relations team is charged with doing public relations for the public relations industry, a monumental task on any given day maybe – but especially so in the past couple days.
We frequently see head-scratching errors in judgment and avoidable ethical mishaps but rarely do we come across something so egregious as to stop us all in our tracks. The recent blog post by Lisa Kovitz on the Edelman website did just that.
When done properly a seamless public relations campaign can generate the levels of exposure and publicity for your brand or product that most practitioners dream about nightly. You’re able to position your brand in the best way possible and you leave your target audiences buzzing. However, when you rely on a one-shot publicity stunt that goes wrong, public relations professionals are often placed in the line of fire by company executives and (worse) the media. The situation may arise from a PR pro utilizing a misguided pitch or pitching a product that isn’t quite up to snuff, in either case the results are almost always negative.
Our profession – that of providing public relations counsel and support for clients or employers – continues to be misunderstood by many of those for whom we provide our services, not to mention the myriad others who are either indirectly impacted by our activities or observe the results from the sidelines.
There seems to be an endless supply of public incidents requiring our expertise; ranging from political embarrassments to very public senior management squabbles and everything in between. Not surprisingly, things ricochet from bad to worse, and the description typically is “it has become a public relations ‘nightmare.’”
Subscribe to the PRSA blog.
PRSAY is a forum for PRSA members and other public relations professionals to engage in a dialogue with PRSA leaders, exchange viewpoints, and share perspectives on issues of concern to the Society and the public relations industry as a whole. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of PRSA.