Let PR experts play leading, not lapdog role
Public relations has had a tremendous and interesting growth, albeit with challenges, since its beginnings during the Second World War as propaganda. But it’s understood that even Cleopatra and Julius Caesar had massive success in PR
The practice has since developed ethics and governing bodies, but nothing much has changed in the discharge of duties. It’s unethical for a PR expert to do things at the expense of a client so as to satisfy the boss’s needs.
We have seen PR experts dancing to the tune of the executive. The era of always saying “yes” to the boss should end and the spin masters become the experts to advise the executive.
In Kenya, spin has become synonymous with PR. The phrase “that’s government PR” is common. The “orders from above” syndrome need to be changed to “order from the expert”, where the PR expert plays the role of advising the executive on how to achieve mutual understanding between the company and clients.
The Public Relations Society of Kenya needs to come out strong and play the watchdog role over PR practitioners.
CHRISTOPHER OKINDA, public relations