January 18, 2010
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Liar, liar: knowing the enemy

I have become instinctively irritated when I hear people say that public relations involves lying, but I get far more annoyed when I hear PR practitioners actually lie. Most of us in the profession value telling and selling a story straight, but there are those — often the ones who talk most conspicuously about the importance of ethics for some reason — who seem to fib far too much. This sort of behavior from a small minority helps perpetuate on the honest majority what I believe to be an inaccurate and unfair ‘liar’ stereotype.

It’s pretty widely accepted that lying is corrosive to the trust foundation of relationships. Every field of endeavor has its liars, but because PR people are in the relationships business (Public Relationships and Private Relationships), the importance of avoiding lying is fundamentally important to our craft. This is especially true at a time when we are achieving a growing traction as an industry amplified by the rise of social media. So if lying is our adversary, then we’d better well understand the enemy so we can prevail against such a formidable foe.

Here’s an interesting video that purportedly shows how to detect lies:

…and these are some of the best sources and links that I’ve seen lately:

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