Journalists Can’t Blame PR for Everything
“Mom, that nasty PR flack made me do it!”
A new article in the December 1, 2005, issue of Rolling Stone, written by James Bamford, slams John Rendon, of the Rendon Group, who was awarded a $16 million reputation management contract that Rolling Stone defines as:
“Manipulating information – and, by extension, the news media – to achieve the desired result.”
They also have a pull-out blurb that reads:
“There was a reason Judith Miller bought into the lies about Iraq –they were part of a $100 million PR campaign hatched by a shadowy Beltway consulting firm.”
I agree that PR activities should be above board and transparent, and maybe some (or all) of what the Rendon Group did was shady. However, I am tired of letting the news media off the hook entirely. Isn’t it their job to separate fact from fiction?
It seems to me that Miller was a bit seduced by rubbing shoulders with the Washington bigwigs, and it was reported that she even had a secret government clearance. On top of that, she was reprimanded by her paper, the New York Times and is “taking some time off.”
Also, reputation management does not mean to manipulate information. In ethical PR companies, it means helping the client make the right decisions during a crisis, decisions that will help the company retain their good name after the crisis has passed. 100% of the time, this means doing the “right thing” for the public.