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Public Relations Is Not “Spin”

A Brief History of Public Relations

In the 1920s, Edward Bernays and Ivy Lee coined the word “public relations” in America. Back then, PR was considered to be propaganda, as it was used to promote both sides of the First World War and other controversial efforts. During the second half of the 20th century, however, the concept of PR expanded as various principles were established and it developed into a legitimate profession. According to Wikipedia, “In the early 2000s, press release services began offering social media press releases. The Cluetrain Manifesto, which predicted the impact of social media in 1999, was controversial in its time. But by 2006, the effect of social media and new internet technologies became broadly accepted.”

PR’s Many Titles

PR has had many different titles since the turn of the century. To name a few: damage control, image/reputation management, publicity, and the most hated, “spin.” This a dated word that gives the profession a negative connotation, its roots stemming in PR’s past in propaganda. But this no longer aligns with PR’s role in society.

What Is “Spin?”

Spin (noun): a particular way of representing an event or situation to the public so that it will be understood in a way that you want it to be understood. –Cambridge Dictionary

AKA…a way to save face and alter a story in order to avoid a negative audience reaction.

Why PR Isn’t “Spin”

“Spin is too simple a term for the work PR practitioners do. Sure, they seek to influence, but also counsel, market, promote, and advocate for their brands and clients. Simply put, PR is much more than spin.”

PR Weekly

In our current political climate, unfortunately, “the only time the average person sees a public relations professional is when they are advising a politician or celebrity or apologizing for a corporate screw-up.” (e-releases) But PR is so much more than that. It is brand development and building an image that showcases personality, values and talent. It is connecting with your audience and giving back to the organizations that improve our lives. It is remaining accountable, transparent and honest when something doesn’t go to plan. It is engaging users and producing excellent content. It is building lasting relationships.

Sp*n is a gross word. Let’s get rid of it for good.

9 Things AM:PM PR Loves

Happy Monday!

What gets you up in the morning? What inspires you? For us here at AM:PM PR, it’s our location, our office, and our awesome team. We are so lucky to work in such a fun, buzzing neighborhood at our headquarters on Clinton Street. Here are 9 things we love about it.

 

1. Our Lego Models

Co-founder Pat McCormick is talented in many areas, one being his ability to piece together some impressive Lego sets. If you’ve walked by our office before, you’re probably familiar with the abundance of Lego displays on our window sills. While providing a fun distraction, I mean break, 😉 from our work from time to time, we also love to see kiddos stop and admire the models. It’s so cute to see them ooh and aah over the Disney Castle, Statue of Liberty, and most notable, Millennium Falcon model.

2. Nossa Familia Coffee

A two-minute walk from our office, Nossa Familia Coffee on Division Street is one of our favorite spots to chill and refuel. They’re deeply committed to ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship and social responsibility, plus their coffee and tea is so yummy!

3. Dogs, dogs, dogs

Clinton and Division Streets are dog central, and we’re dog people. If there’s ever a shortage of pups trotting by our office windows though, no worries–our pals at EENW next door have two sweet labradoodles that we love to cuddle. Their names are Nova & Echo!

4. Our Glass Whiteboards

Designed by 7/Apps founder Juan Fernandez and built by a local welder, the glass whiteboards that divide up our work spaces in the office are one of our most favorite things. Typically covered in sticky notes and doodles, our whiteboards are a great place for us to draw cartoons or map out a project.

5. New Seasons Market

Our favorite spot for a quick snack or lunch with friends during the work day. This cozy place doesn’t feel like your typical grocery store. The staff are friendly, the food is fresh, and the vibes are good. Plus, it’s a 30-second stroll from our office!

6. The Cyrk Building

We are privileged to work in the coolest building ever. 90% of our building’s power comes from solar panels on the roof, and the indoor temperature is controlled by an underground water-source heat pump. The Cyrk Building is eco-friendly, welcoming and bright with its many windows, and decked out in cool art.

7. Our Team

We are a family-owned PR agency with a passion for what we do. Our team is driven and inspired by each other, and that’s what results in our success. Long hours aren’t a problem for us — we are motivated by our client’s victories and willing to do whatever it takes. We are a close-knit team of creative, socks-with-sandals-wearing goofballs.

8. Fifty Licks Ice Cream

Fun fact! I’m an ice cream addict.

Fifty Licks, the ice cream shop across the street, is my favorite place in Portland. They have unique flavors (better than Salt & Straw, in my opinion) and a super cute space. I go quite often, and it was during one of my frequent stops there that I discovered AM:PM!

9. Our Clients

We work with clients we believe in and on projects we enjoy, and our goal is to build long-term relationships with the people we assist. We take our clients’ goals on as our own and love seeing them flourish.

 

-Sophie