Via Don’t Get Caught: Should PR Have It’s Own Transparency

To start, I LOVE the name of this blog. Don’t Get Caught is a blog written by a PR consultant in DC. Props to her for such a clever name. (And maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I really get a kick out of how it seemingly confirms PR critics’ worst fears, that we’re only here to cover things up.)

Ms. Graveline posted an article earlier this week that ties nicely into my post from yesterday about our need to be better planners (and a huge part of that was transparency). In it, she shares a number of recent articles (including one by Shel Holtz and one by Ivan Oransky) about how PR agencies, professionals and practitioners should be more transparent about what they do and have done. I don’t know that I could agree more:

*Unlock those PDFs urges this blog post, noting that when you make it impossible to search, clip or print a PDF, you’re limiting your readership to on-screen viewing only. No way that one’s going viral.

*Sharing live video coverage of your company and publishing your business practices are two transparency moves that are becoming the norm for corporations. Check this list of good examples from Edelman PR.

*Tell your potential partners how you want to be pitched — not reporters per se, but suppliers, cosponsors, fundraisers, you name it.

*Open APIs for developers. From the post, “API or application programming interface, is…one part of a software program that makes it easy for other programs to make use of a piece of its functionality or content.” Making them openly available lets developers expand and build on your brand. If you’re creating a new platform, consider this.

*Don’t think like a portal: Make that video available was the message to the Columbus Dispatch, which removed the video of the “homeless man with the golden voice” from YouTube and put the video on its homepage. And while you’re at it, make sure that video’s shareable.

Besides being transparent being the right thing to do, just think how ahead-of-the-times you’ll look when you start espousing these ideas, and then they become normal business practices in two years.

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