PR & Journalism

Since first learning about public relations last year, I’ve discovered a lot about the industry and the controversy surrounding the subject.

In last year’s assignment, our task was to start a case study on our desired company or organisation. I chose to do John lewis as I’ve been working for Waitrose for the past 5 years so had more of an insight into the company. It was interesting monitoring the press releases of the business and seeing how the communication department publishes information out into the media.

In one of the readings last week I found some information from a columnist  by the name of Christine Odone, writing in The Guardian in 2006.

“Journalists are in the business of exposing the truth, PR’s are in the business of twisting it”

This has always been the recurring theme between the difference in Journalism and public relations. However this could also be the case with journalism. There is a very fine line in truthfulness, whether it’s genuine journalism or PR. The media in general can be biased or one sided so it comes down to trust and researching the facts and figures yourself to decide what you really believe.

The way in which an organisations reacts to the media when they have been inflated in the news. This is a key part of public relations and outlines how important a role it plays for many companies around the world. For example, looking at the German car manufacturer Volkswagen, they have been under pressure from the media after they were involved in a serious emissions scandal. A box was inserted into a large batch of vehicles, which prevented toxic fumes from being discovered during vehicle diesel testing. This had huge impacts for the German retailer, however even now after the discovery it hasn’t really affected the companies’ image. Their PR team came out in the media and apologised which seems to have led to forgiveness from many loyal customers of Volkswagen.


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