Everything I really needed to know about PR I learned when I was a kid
One of our favorite PR blogs recently did a piece on flack vs. public relations. The author’s definition of flack was “to provide publicity or engage in press-agentry.” While this definition is technically correct, flack, like another popular F-word, can also be used as a noun. My definition of a flack is a PR person who is willing to represent any company, no matter how despicable or someone for whom the truth is an irrelevant inconvenience.
Unfortunately, flacks are the reason that public relations professionals are often considered to be bottom-feeding lowlifes. What’s worse is that it has somehow become accepted that people like PR professionals, lawyers, politicians and others of their ilk can, do and SHOULD lie in order to be successful.
You need look no further than the recent DNC and RNC fibfests to know what I mean. A quick stroll through www.factcheck.org will provide example after example after example.
Perhaps the fact that people are now looking to each other as one of the most trusted sources of ideas, information and opinions is a sign that the general public has had enough of being constantly barraged with lies and half-truths. This gives high-integrity companies willing to do the right thing, be transparent and engage in a direct and honest dialog with its customers a huge competitive advantage. That same advantage extends to PR and marketing people who work within this framework. It can mean a harder road to travel, but the long-term payoff makes it worthwhile.
KoiFish Communications was founded to help companies that choose to put the needs of their customers, industries and communities first gain the recognition they deserve. By working exclusively with companies we can believe in wholeheartedly, we become authentic champions and evangelists for our clients. We feel good about helping them engage in a two-way dialog with key audiences because we know that the discussion has meaning and value to everyone involved. In addition, we’ll never be asked to compromise our own integrity and we will never have to be flacks. This is important us.