Can you tell by looking at a photo like this if it's of a sunrise or a sunset? Absent knowledge of the time of day or the direction in which it was taken, I think not. Just as well I'm talking about both a start and a finish here then.
First, the crap that's finishing – that would be public relations as spin. That would be lying, or inauthentic manipulation at best. That would be attempting to build and maintain a façade in the vain hope that customers, employees, investors and partners, present and future, confuse the façade for the real thing. As the saying goes, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not so many for so long now that everyone packs a smartphone.
Enough has been written on this topic for me to hope that you'll agree, or at least concur the trend is well established. As one of my characters in Attenzi points out:
If ‘perception is reality’ was the saying that characterized our approach to marketing and public relations before, we now have to consider that reality is perception.
When I first learned of the excellence theory of public relations I was immediately attracted to it. What's not to like? It's constructed on the basis that we use communication to negotiate with the public, resolve conflict and promote mutual understanding and respect between the organisation and its stakeholders. It describes a management function focused on this two-way communication to foster mutually beneficial relationships. Read more