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Public Relations

Credibility in PR, A Life Lesson

Credibility, it’s important in every aspect of our lives, but particularly in our career choices

A simple life lesson, that may seem painfully obvious, is worth mentioning. Your credibility is everything. It determines your relationships with stakeholders, with customers, with the media, etc. Credibility is essentially the value of your word.

Think about advertising vs. PR. Which is more credible? Something that comes from the company itself, or third-party endorsement in the form of an article or feature story?  The article, of course.

This goes to show that people innately distrust companies, expecting that they have their own best interests in mind.  The same is true for individuals. Trust must be earned.

If you try to sugar-coat the truth or you don’t tell the whole story, it will harm your reputation. Forever. The best thing to do is to practice transparency and work to improve the situation in an honest and healthy way. Sometimes, this is easier said than done, but the positive impact of dealing with a crisis will serve you and your company well in the long run.

When it comes to credibility, being honest ALWAYS has it’s pay off. It has been shown that there is a positive correlation between PR practitioners recommending social responsibility and having a say in policy decision-making. This is ultimately what we want, isn’t it? A “seat at the table” so to speak.

So, the life lesson? Be transparent in everything you do. Share your thoughts, ideas and experiences with the people around you. That way, when things go wrong they know they can rely on you.

About Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith is a public relations student at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Amanda is currently the V.P. of Public Relations on the Panhellenic Council executive board. She is also involved with PRSSA and Hill Communications, a student-run public relations firm.


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