Can’t you just, ‘do a photo with staff and pretend they are customers,’ ‘write a review that reads as though you were there,’ ‘photoshop the image and add so and so into it,’ ‘re do part of the video, no one will know it wasn’t done at the same time as the experiment,’ no, no, no and well quite frankly no.
Forgive me for being a fully paid up member of the CIPR and a total, copy on the desk, flag waving supporter of its Code of Conduct, actually don’t forgive me, respect that fact that I take my own reputation as seriously as I take building and protecting yours!
I am frequently flabbergasted at the, seemingly innocent requests that come our way, and by the reactions when we say no, and explain why doing any of the above is not acceptable.
It amazes me what some people think is acceptable. I go to great lengths to explain that doing something like that, something that is not open, honest and transparent, is wrong and can have a massive impact on credibility, both theirs and mine!
Building up a positive reputation in this industry takes time, it takes time for people to realise that you are the kind of person who operates with integrity and honesty and that you have credibility.
Hard earned reputations can be tarnished and trust can be broken and despite your best efforts this can sometimes be down to the actions of others outside of your own organisation.
Broken embargoes, un-honoured exclusives, providing incorrect information, lying, over the years I have seen it all but as a PR consultant there is always a choice. A choice of who you work with, who you continue to work with and who you will work with in the future.
When you run your own consultancy, your reputation and credibility has to be your number one priority, and anything that threatens that needs to be addressed.
Only work with clients who have the same approach to open and honest communication as you do, if someone behaves in a way that threatens to damage your reputation, pull the rug and don’t continue to work with them.
This is a great industry and if we all work to the same Code of Conduct then the communication we see will be open, honest, ethical and credible. Let’s work to make sure we are operating in an industry that we can be proud of and that we are all playing our part.