If everything were transparent, PR would be a dead art. Though public relations deifies transparency and truth, it is a hard- hitting fact that PR professionals would have to switch careers if all their clients became oh-so-honest. Transparency is more of a principle than a tactic in PR. And most clients tend to forget this basic rule of thumb, quite frequently.
Let us take into consideration the grey area called reputation management; a branch of PR that has broken off and flourished of its own accord. We have come to accept cover ups and crises management strategies as part of ‘effective image building’. even when complete disclosure is inevitable and threatens to bring any reputation toppling down, there is a tendency to downplay the same and portray the company as a victim of circumstances instead.
Even in- house communication tends to be a exaggerated and flattering at times. While employees know the show behind the curtains, employers simply turn a blind eye towards the obvious and try to make it as unimportant as possible. Picketing and employee strikes are often the results of failed talks between both parties. Open forums are seen as an opportunity for grievance redressal by employees and as a crisis by the management, instead of a feedback platform that can help bring about mutual understanding if both parties are willing to cooperate.
With Wiki Leaks and every bit of possible information easily available on the Internet honesty has become a mandatory characteristic of corporate communication. Even though the possibility of ‘lies’ cannot be ruled out PR personnel struggle to keep afloat the notion that their client and company is 100% believable, trustworthy, accredited and a lot more; the simple reason being that the audiences can easily find any skeletons if they wish to.