Dear PR Guy,
Are you and your profession happy that the truth is finally dead?
Signed, Wondering in Northwest
Although these are surely depressing times, the PR Guy takes some solace in believing the truth isn’t dead. It’s just buried.
It used to get buried under an avalanche of accuracy. Back in the days when the more-or-less objective mainstream media had a more-or-less lock on the news business, PR people would get frustrated with the necessary focus on accuracy that journalists bring to their work. That is to say, we’d often read the very accurate statement that there are those who believe the world is flat. (There’s a whole documentary on it!) The TRUTH, as we PR people like to point out, is that the world is more-or-less spherical, a big ball hanging out in space going around the sun every 365 and 1/4 days.
Back then, it wasn’t uncommon at all for the truth to break through the accuracy and win the day.
Today the truth is buried under an avalanche of information, a huge portion of which is of suspect provenance generated by an amorphous, self-reinforcing Lie Machine. Accuracy can barely poke it’s head out, so the truth struggles to get even the slightest purchase.
The solution? More truth. Fighting the Lie Machine is a fool’s errand. It’s too big, too fluid, and way too capable of co-opting everything that’s thrown at it. Instead, we need to flood the market — in a smart and targeted way — with more truth more often in ways that people can more easily digest.
It’s like they used to say on the X-Files: “The truth is out there.” Our job is to help uncover it.
Got a question? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.