It’s Time To Get Honest About The Truth

After listening to the recent S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications conversation with NPR’s David Folkenflik, I can tell you true and honest media is more important than ever. In the first couple of minutes of Folkenflik’s opening statement, he brought up the question as to why media may choose to publish articles that may be far from the truth. This idea of dishonest media or fake news got me thinking of ethics, and whether or not the truth really matters.

WAER news director Chris Bolt, was one of the mediators for the discussion with Folkenflik. Bolt, brought up a pretty important question – Why doesn’t the media focus on things that are less sexy? Like the environment, local elections, education policy etc.  The two men were able to get to the conclusion, that at the end of the day, media gives people what they want.

In a recent poll by Gallup, nursing was ranked the number one most trusted profession with 82 percent of participants agreeing for the 16th year in a row. The highest ranking communications profession are newspaper reporters holding steady at 25 percent trustworthiness. Advertisers were ranked low at 18 percent and public relations practitioners did not make the list.

Let us take a detour for a moment and imagine a successful beauty campaign. What made it successful? Can you point out what appealed to you the most? The fact is most beauty campaigns are meticulously crafted, researched and tested before the public ever sees them. The reason for all of this painstaking work is not to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes, but to create a connection and beneficial relationship. As Folkenflik said, “we are in a time of extremely short attention spans.” The task of creating a relationship within seconds is daunting and at times may be seen as jarring to the consumer, but who said love at first sight was easy?

As you might already know, I am currently studying public relations at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. I have spent quite a bit of time and my money in efforts to become a public relations expert. I think we can all agree that education is very important, but so is your time and money, so here is the truth. Public relations no matter the industry, or position, focuses on building mutually beneficial relationships.

I know our society is in a time of media scrutiny and most people are finding it hard to trust anything, so I think this is a perfect time to remind anyone reading my blog of the six values held by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and me:

  1. Advocacy: We provide a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts, and viewpoints to aid informed public debate.
  2. Honesty: We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.
  3. Expertise: We advance the profession through continued expert-level development, research, and education.
  4. Independence: We provide objective counsel to those we represent. We are accountable for our actions.
  5. Loyalty: We are faithful to those we represent, while also honoring our obligation to serve the public interest.
  6. Fairness: We respect all opinions and support the right of free expression.
Signed PRSA Code of Ethics Form
PRSA Code of Ethics, Signed by Janet Diane White

I have proudly taken the pledge putting honesty at the top of my priorities for this blog and the rest of my career.

Next week, I will be returning to my regular content and am excited to describe the process of a new beauty product launch. In the meantime, please let me know what you think of this type of content in the comment box below.