Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952545 | Print ISBN: 9780761927334 | Online ISBN: 9781412952545| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Lisa T. Fall
Public relations professionals have been called all kinds of names—sandbaggers, flacks, propaganda machines, spin doctors. Unfortunately, these labels connote a P. T. Barnum/Jerry McGuire approach to public relations management. Further, these negative names imply that the industry engages in promoting hype, puffery, and communication manipulation. These terms also suggest that press relations is the primary function for which public relations practitioners are responsible. And even more disturbing is the point that spin doctor has become a mainstream term used by the media to associate smoke-and-glass strategies with public relations professionals. The reasons this black cloud of spin looms over the industry are as varied as the definitions used to describe public relations itself. Whereas some view public relations as a management function that promotes mutually beneficial relationships and encourages positive behavioral change, others advocate that their primary responsibility is to engage in image and reputation management. Still others believe that ...