Is honesty the best policy?
Sitting around the dinner table last night my family and I were having a typical ‘solve the problems of the worlds’ conversation over a few glasses of red and the topic of respecting politicians came up.
Everyone around the table had some very valid points, but the one consensus that surfaced, regardless of political persuasion, age or gender, was that the Prime Minister of Australia should be referred to as just that, ‘Prime Minister’.
This may sound odd at first, but there have been several examples in recent media coverage, especially in interviews and even in the leader’s debate held a few weeks back, where political commentators are referring to the prime minister as Julia, or Ms Gillard.
The dialogue between politicians and members of the media seems to have evolved. There appears to be more banter, brazen comments, questions and innuendo, as well as moments of utter premeditated humiliation.
As the youngest member of last night’s ‘family’ debate it lead me to question whether politicians have bought this predicament upon themselves? Do they warrant as much respect as they used to, in the ‘good ol’ days’? I was quickly reminded of a time when slogans such as, ‘Keeping the bastards honest’ echoed throughout political campaigns.
My recollection of political history is obviously filtered through the views of my parents and elders so I don’t assume to have objectivity, but in this current political climate I can’t help but feel like the ‘strategies’ used by politicians in their media/political campaigns are so cautious, contrived and self-edited that it does breed a seed of resentment. Are we expected to just lap it up without question?
The same can be said in day-to-day PR campaigns not just political PR. Is it better to offer the public honesty and transparency and take a risk by humanising your organisation and making it somewhat vulnerable? Or do you play it safe and treat the public like the ignorant masses and assume they won’t question what they’re not told?
I would like to think there are still a majority of people out there that don’t take information on face value and that honesty in communication is paramount. There seems to be a focus on how you say it, rather than what you say these days- I think both are equally important.
I love it when I can put an Oscar Wilde quote in context, so let’s finish on this pearler… “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.”
Irish dramatist, novelist, & poet (1854 – 1900)
|Print article||This entry was posted by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations on August 5, 2010 at 10:35 am, and is filed under Gill Asbury, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No comments yet.
about 4 years ago - No comments
Our Internet and email went down last week, which was a sharp reminder of how much we rely on computers in our daily business lives. For me it was also a reminder of how we worked in my early days of PR when I started in the business. Imagine, if you can, a world without
about 5 years ago - 1 comment
I was invited last week to speak at the CEO Institute on ‘The power of connection for business: social networking’. I painted a picture of where social media fits in the overall public relations and communication plans of a business and explained where the opportunities to engage on these platforms for businesses are. The presentation
about 5 years ago - 8 comments
Public relations (PR) is about raising visibility of your business to create greater awareness and eventually, understanding for what you stand for. The idea is that through this long-term process, your target market will start believing and feeling a certain way towards your organisation (hopefully positive!) and take action (i.e. buy your products or services,
about 5 years ago - 6 comments
I had a final catch up with one of my PR mentees this morning who’s been part of the PR Mentor program I’ve just completed running, and he was telling me that one of the things the program made him aware of is the importance of discipline. Not the media tips or the ‘how to’
about 5 years ago - 1 comment
Dominating the news of late is the recent controversy surrounding the culture of the Australian Armed Forces in relation to bullying, sexism and an ignorant approach to the systemic problems that seem fairly deep seated within the ranks. This week was also the sentencing of a Melbourne café owner where several workers bullied an apprentice
about 5 years ago - 3 comments
A question which is almost always raised by the potential client during the proposal presentation meeting is: “How good are your media contacts?” Behind the question is the belief that good media contacts are essential to get a story published and that there is some sort of secret society that only journalists and PR people
about 5 years ago - 1 comment
Last Friday was the ‘Liaising with the media’ session of the PR Mentor program I’m running for small businesses. As public relations practitioners, there are behaviours which are just second nature to us when it comes to contacting journalists. But for small business owners like my ‘PR mentees’, this unfamiliar territory can be a little…
about 5 years ago - 2 comments
QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce announced at a Senate inquiry in Canberra this week that “We [QANTAS] have a commitment to safety leadership”, and followed it with “somewhere in the world a QANTAS group plane takes off every second and there’s only a ‘technical problem’ every four minutes”. If you do the maths, that equates to
about 6 years ago - 2 comments
“We haven’t set a budget for PR, but that’s not a problem, just tell us how much you need to do the job properly” You know that even after all my years in PR I have never ever heard that phrase uttered by any potential client. I was reminded of it recently when a potential
about 6 years ago - 6 comments
Around Christmas time last year (2010), the promoters of Big Day Out announced that patrons attending the second Sydney show would be allowed to take a friend for free, as capacity was just over the midway point (19, 000), which caused uproar within the music community as it was effectively offering half price tickets. Big