For my dissertation I was inspired by Philip Young's PR Meditations blog written on April 4th. it is only short, but (as these things often do) it was the snowball that started an avalanche.
The blog was written about Mark Borkowski's colomn in The Guardian about the new face of the CIPR, in which he 'fire[s] off a stinging putdown of the newly-chartered IPR. Julian Henry's column lauds the acheivements of Max Clifford, setting out exactly why he is the best in the business.
'Henry writes "Shady trading and underhand dealing with newspaper people is an essential part of being an effective PR practitioner and though many of the big agencies might look down their noses at him, there is a lot to be learnt from the technique and application of someone like Clifford."
'Purists would argue Clifford isn't a PR at all, he's a publicist, a different kind of animal entirely.
Interesting, isn't it, that Henry and Borkowski, two of the real stars of UK PR, take such a different line to the industry's professional body... '
The last two paragraphs are where my interest lies and immediately after reading them I felt warrented futher investigation.
If a PR practitioner and academic says that Clifford is not a PR practitioner at all but a publicist, but another PR practitioner can say that he is, and is to be respected at that, then who is correct? what is the difference between a percieved publicist and an accepted practitioner?
Well although I had a fairly good idea as to what conclusions I may uncover I was not prepared for how little has actually been written on this subject. Perhaps it is fear of libel, or perhaps fear of a drop in reputation.
Whatever the reason I does not make sense to me.
But kudos to Philip Young - and after all surely the whole point of blogs is the free airing of opinion and information that can (and should) be used to suppliment our continuing education that is so very necessary in the world of PR?