Chris Edward did a post yesterday from over the "pond" on the blurring of the lines between PR and journalism, as personified by PR giant Edelman. Some journalists are concerned about the lack of a filter in a medium controlled by corporate flacks, but Edwards correctly states that most of that concern is unwarranted.
"The trend in recent years, despite all the talk about engagement and two-way communication, has been to sell, sell, sell. Don't go off-message, no matter how dull that message might be. Because no-one is going to get fired for sticking to the pre-approved script. At least not until companies start to see their profiles become less and less prominent. Then they might have a go at proper communication."
Proper communication is not just controlling the medium. It's all about conversation. And if you try to control the conversation, it becomes a monologue, not communication.
The key here, as I have said before, is ethics and a dedication to truth. That's primarily why I can't really call most of what passes for public relations as anything more than marketing communications. Real PR is an advocacy effort, but ALWAYS tempered by truth, not spin. And until people in corporations realize this, they will be no more successful with their efforts to reach the public then they have in the past.
Good call, Chris.