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Keith Trivitt, from the PRSA, wants to kill “hits.” He claims referring to media placements in this manner destroys the profession’s rep.

This strikes me as kinda prim and mostly pointless.

Though I’ve often referred to it, I’m real tired of the profession’s preoccupation with our collective “reputation.” Face it, there are unethical jackasses in every realm, and perhaps it’s time to focus our energy on other questions.

Trivitt’s piece got me thinking about when valid preoccupations/debates become counter productive.

Don’t get me wrong, internal dialogue is critical for all professions. But there comes a point when an issue is beaten so far to death that it becomes a collective neurosis.

Here are a few other never-ending topics in PR that might be passed their best before date in terms of value and productivity.

  1. The value of “Add Value Equivalency (AVE).” PR peeps ain’t admen. The way people react to an ad versus an editorial piece differs. This should be enough to kill AVEs. If C-suiters ask about AVEs, EDUCATE them.
  2. Who owns social media. The answer is “it depends” (i.e. there is no one answer). In fact, there’s not even a sound, readily applicable, cookie cutter framework for figuring this out.
  3. The definition of PR. My mom and wife are not exactly sure what I do for a living. They certainly cannot explain it succinctly to their friends. In this, I am not alone amongst my fellow PR pros. While it’s laudable to try and bang out a definition of PR, every time an industry body does we end up looking like master obfuscators. PR pros do many different things, and there is no monolithic job description because of the flux the industry is in. Maybe that’s enough.

Thoughts? Am I too much of a curmudgeon on this?



Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Krista says:

    Jackson, you a curmudgeon? Nah!

    I often think these neverending discussions (great pun with the image!) only exist in our little PR bubble and we are often the makers of the big issue when it comes to a head. I understand the frustration many PR pro’s feel when it comes to these discussions, but they can’t get in the way of doing the actual work and producing results.

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