Letter: No place for 'monsters' among PR professionals

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The Independent Online
Sir: I feel compelled to reply to Bryan Appleyard's article. As a public relations graduate and now employed in the PR industry (oh no, not another 'monster' I hear you say]) I must defend my profession and my own integrity, for that matter.

Mr Appleyard defines what he believes are two types of public relations practitioners. One he labels the 'monster' and the other 'the vulnerable publicists touting for trade in the newsrooms or vainly faxing press releases into the media ether'.

As one of the new breed of graduates who has an education in PR and who abides by a code of ethics, I believe that much of what Mr Appleyard had to say was unjust. I and many of my colleagues fit neither of these stereotypes. Educated in public relations, we practise to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding and earn more respect than he has implied from the media.

Mr Appleyard negatively refers to the PR profession as a series of deals. In the context of any other profession the use of the word 'deal' is acceptable. 'Deals' are continually going down in the Stock Exchange. People often do a 'good deal' with their estate agent or car dealer. As much as I dislike the terminology and accept that it is the jargon of some professions, I think that Mr Appleyard has over-hyped the use of the word in this context.

If we (the new generation) play ball with Mr Appleyard, he and other journalists would not need to sell their souls, journalism would not become a series of quick deals but business that ends in not destructive but productive equal scores for both.

Yours faithfully,

MICHELLE POWELL

Account Executive

Kestrel Communications

London, SW19

11 February

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