PR has a duty to tell the truth. Not.

Martin Moore covers an debate in London. Resolved: PR has a duty to tell the truth. Voting for that proposition: 124. Voting against: 138. The motion fails.

That is, of course, if they’re all telling the truth about this.

Well, we shouldn’t be too surprised. But we should be disappointed in our fellow man. To put it bluntly: This is a surprisingly candid admission that TV is the lying profession.

Now there’s an argument that the PR person has a duty to the client, not the truth.

But that then raises the question — as other events have lately — of whether a PR person can be transparent and, indeed, credible. This would seem to say no.

Yet I also believe that in the age of links, PR takes on a new duty. I want to link to a company’s (or a politician’s or a government’s) site and find its company line and the facts and figures it has. We can all now link directly to such source material and we expect it to be credible; we are not discounting the truth because it came through a flack. The responsibility is quasi-journalistic: it’s about filling in facts and positions.

But if we can’t ever trust you and know whether you are telling the truth — if you don’t see that as a duty — then why bother with the site? (via Martin Stabe)