PR = Persuasion, not presentation

In his PR Week column this week, Anthony Hilton takes a pop at “listen only” conference calls – where journalists and analysts are only allowed to hear what the company wants and not allowed “to interrupt, challenge, question or even express disbelief.” About as far away from the PR 2.0 concept of conversation as you could hope to get.

Hilton also makes a rather good observation – namely that “the art of PR is to persuade others of the merits of a client’s case, not simply present it.”

And is that not the problem with a lot of PR? Endlesss amount of “presenting” the clients case, but little done to actually justify.

Let is linger longer on the concept of persuasion. There are plenty of books on the subject – and a bit of random googling brought up this. I don’t know Tom Hopkins from Adam, and his list below may be rather old hat on the subject. But it did raise the interesting question of how PRs normally would respond to each of the points below – I’d argue in most cases, they’d behave in exactly the opposite to that described in order to try and “persuade” a journalist.

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