It’s the most exaggerated of claims, statistics shaded beyond recognition – a company is credited with all things worthy and wonderful; but such credit leaves many concerned. It seems more akin to impossibility than truth. Its existence is doubted. Its reliability is questioned. And eventually it is shown to be inaccurate, the manipulation of facts and figures (each twisted until they became something altogether new).
The lie is revealed and the public is – of course – outraged. Trust is shattered. Faith is lost. And an entire corporation is forced to shut its doors, unable to sustain itself without the favor of the masses.
This could’ve been avoided and should never have occurred. The blame is offered to the public relations team and such blame is well deserved.
There is a delicate line between promotion and propaganda. Too often is this line obliterated in the quest to succeed. Competition drives every gesture, every thought; and this leads businesses to refuse the simpler truth and replace it to a far grander ideal. Those ideals can quickly unravel, however, if exposed – and they often are.
Public relations is not intended to offer happy inaccuracies to the masses. These will not aid anyone: they will instead be discovered as false and will only incite fury. No man wishes to be deceived. And, when such deception is learned of, it compels him to abandon the ones who offered it.
It is vital therefore that a distinction between salesmanship and overdone propaganda be established. Information must always be correct, even when it may underwhelm. There shall be no injections of lies or intentionally vague statements (meant to impress but never to be proven). A business cannot be the source of unfounded praise and altered quotes. This can lead to swift failure.
The purpose of public relations is to create an honest image – not one that cannot be substantiated. Beware of propaganda.