RE­THINK­ING REP­U­TA­TION

How PR trumps mar­ket­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing in the new me­dia world

The Australian - The Deal - - Ideas And Books -

Fraser P. Sei­tel and John Door­ley; Pal­grave Macmil­lan, 233pp.

The con­tention is con­testable, but the case stud­ies con­vinc­ing. In an age when so­cial me­dia has less blurred than erased the bound­aries be­tween news and opin­ion, rep­u­ta­tion man­age­ment is no longer in­de­pen­dent of prod­uct ad­ver­tis­ing. Then again, mar­keters can make the same claim. But while all- en­com­pass­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions, rather than any of its sub- dis­ci­plines, is what mat­ters, the tra­di­tional PR com­pe­ten­cies re­main es­sen­tial. The strengths of this book are the ex­am­ples of good and bad brand, cor­po­rate and cri­sis com­mu­ni­ca­tions cam­paigns. The en­ter­tain­ing ones are the shock­ers, such as how one­time US pres­i­den­tial hope­ful John Ed­wards tried to lie his way out of strife over cam­paign spend­ing. Or the way BP’s text­book at­tempt to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon dis­as­ter was de­railed by com­pany chief Tony Hay­ward’s blun­ders. The authors have an easy an­swer to the PR chal­lenge – tell the truth.

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