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Dan Rather says public relations should be for public interest

May 25, 2012

Dan Rather urged PR professionals to recommit to working on behalf of the public’s best interest.

When public relations operates at its best, it is helping more than a client or corporation — it is helping the general public, said Rather, the keynote speaker during the PRSA New York Chapter’s 25th annual Big Apple Awards last night.

Some PR practitioners and journalists persist in believing that there is a natural and everlasting adversarial relationship between their two professions, said Rather, former anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News from 1981-2005, and current host of HDNet’s “Dan Rather Reports.”

“Not true,” said Rather, author of his new memoir, “Rather Outspoken.”

While journalists and PR practitioners may have different employers, both professions — at their best — serve the public, he said.

This country needs you and your work right now, your best work,” Rather said. “It is through communication and clear understanding that we can, we will, restore a sense of responsibility and public trust.” — Daniel Benson



Scott Sobel says:

Dan's reasonable comments come from a reporter who has worked the field and knows the reality of enterprising or being tipped to a story. Any good reporter worth his salt should appreciate getting good information from any and every source. As a former journalist, I've always appreciated a smart, savvy and honest PR person who helps advance the story he or she is pitching or supporting. As a PR pro and agency owner, I will help a journalist to the benefit of our clients and the benefit of the story. Lying, spinning, being an adversary to good journalism is a self fulfilling prophecy of failure for everyone. I'm as proud of helping reporters break stories and win awards as I am proud of doing the same when I was a reporter. Rather understands all of the above and I applaud his frankness in the face of a good number of his holier-than-thou journalist colleagues who see all PR as the dark side. And, I'll bet those faux Big J journalists are likely to be the follow-the-pack wimps who dispassionately collect their checks, rewrite their wire copy and punch out at 4:59 every day. Thanks Dan

May 29, 2012

Mike Bako says:

Mr. Rather gave a very funny, personal and emotional keynote address before the awards show started. Before his keynote he sat down with Doug Simon of D S Simon productions to give his thoughts on the current state of the news, public relations, and what really happened at the end of his tenure at CBS News. Rather also gives his insights into the future of how we will all get our news and tells us what he thinks the differences are between Mark Cuban and Sumner Redstone.

May 29, 2012

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