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January 18, 2011

PRSA Objects to The Economist's Derisive Viewpoint of Public Relations' Value

PRSA submitted a letter to the editor of The Economist in response to a Dec. 16, 2010, article examining the growth of the public relations industry. PRSA strongly objected to The Economist's derisive viewpoint of public relations' value, and rebutted several points in the article that were either outdated or misinformed.

The letter to the editor was co-signed by John Paluszek, APR, Fellow PRSA, former PRSA chair and CEO, and current chair of the Global Alliance.

To the Editor:
SIR — Your article examining historical shifts within the public relations industry (“Rise of the image men," Dec. 16) would have been far more enlightening had it not relied on contumely and misinformed stereotypes to describe public relations’ value.
There exists growing recognition within the global business, nonprofit, NGO and public service communities that public relations has progressed to the point where professionals are generating two-way communications, leading to mutual understanding, cooperation and reciprocal relationships at many levels of society. That perspective, unfortunately, was largely missing from the analysis.
Finally, your attempt to marginalize our industry with pejorative labels like “spin” and “image men” was an insult to the significant role public relations professionals play in serving the public good and helping businesses prosper. Had you sought a more comprehensive viewpoint, you would have realized the profession is well positioned at the heart of strategic and global decision making within organizations.
Gary D. McCormick
Chair and CEO
Public Relations Society of America

John Paluszek
Global Alliance


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