My main concern in my practice - in this fast-evolving age of digital marketing - is where my practice of Publicity fits into the scheme of it all. Every now and then I shake my head at the blunders that even Public Relations professionals make in the news. A lot of times it’s funny, but on this particular occasion this week, sometimes it makes me cringe.
A few days ago I sat with an acquaintance who had told me that a “marketing company” approached her and offered to work with her to get her votes in the Georgia Straight‘s Reader’s Choice Awards. If she were to make the top 3 in the list (of five, usually) for her profession, she would need to pay them for their work.
As someone who has had a few clients eligible for these kinds of awards, I do encourage friends and those in my social networks to vote for them. But I would never go as far as to ask my clients for payment. Besides, these aren’t the Oscars, these are reader’s choices. And even if you did win in this way, would you feel good about yourself as a person or a businessperson, knowing you paid for those results?
I’d like there to be an equivalent of the Better Business Bureau for the Marketing industry to catch companies on these sorts of things. Paying for what should clearly be good PR is beyond unethical. And especially in the Marketing industry – where we are paid to try and influence public opinion – there needs to be a third party to hold these companies and their actions accountable.
What do you think?