At a recent meeting of public relations professionals in the UK, they conducted a debate on the topic “PR has a duty to tell the truth”.

They followed it with a vote on the issue.

It was defeated 138 to 124.

However, the PR professionals have a very good reason why they need to lie.

More interesting were the justifications given by the panel for not telling the truth. Chief among these (dwarfing the rest) was the culpability of the news media. Journalists were to blame, they said, because journalists constantly sought out tension, discord and disruption. PR executives had to protect their clients from them and, when necessary, “be economical with the truth”.

So, who do you believe when a reporter interviews a public relations flack on the talking heads channels (at least 75% of the programming on some)?

public relations, lying, debate