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Sunday, 20 February 2011

Spin, PR girls and Public Relations

Public Relations for those who don’t go deeply into the topic is either a light job with lots of fun or on the contrary a mysterious machinations at the top of political and business ladder and media manipulation. That’s because the public perception of PR for is mainly created by it representations in the media and popular culture.

So that from one side we have such representations as of Samantha Jones from “Sex in the City”, Edina Monsoon from “Absolutely Fabulous” or Bridget Jones – the so called 'PR girls' for whom the PR work is all about parties, fun and meeting people.

But on the other side the news media feed us with the examples of mighty 'spin doctors' who have the power over politics, big corporations and media. According to Wilcox et al. (2007) the term was originally “restricted to what often were considered the unethical and misleading activities and tactics of political campaign consultants. By the mid-1990s, however, the media widely used the term to describe any effort by public relations personnel to put a positive slant on an event or issue.”

Probably the most famous spin doctor in UK is Alistair Campbell - Communications Director to the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair until 2003. There is an interesting and worth watching BBC documentary (2000) titled “News from Number 10” where there is shown a lot of Mr. Campbell’s work methods at Downing Street.

Morris, T., Goldsworthy, S., (2008). PR - a persuasive industry? Spin, public relations, and the shaping of the modern media. Palgrave McMillan.
Wilcox, D., et al. (2007). Public Relations: Strategy and Tactics, Pearson Education.

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