When people ask me my major, and I answer, “public relations” some look at me like I just said, “I am majoring in shooting puppies.” I believe the image of public relations and marketing is getting better, but the history of negative feelings toward our field will be hard to change.
In Seth Godin’s Blog “Is Marketing Evil?” Godi, a marketing expert and a well-know author, explains how marketing can be used for evil, but is not evil. He admits that marketing is powerful and can cause evil, but that is not marketing’s fault. The fault is at those using marketing for evil. It is the craftsman not the tool, he states. Godin says that marketers should think about how their actions will impact society. He explains even though you may be doing your job, does not make what you are doing right. Just because you can market something does not mean you should.
Godin goes on explain how marketing can be a beautiful thing. How it can encourage people to do or purchase things that will make their lives better. Marketing can be used as positive infleunce for people to make informed decisions.
This article was written in response to a Time magazine blog, where the writer said you would probably never see Godin writing an article about marketing being evil. Well, Godin wanted to prove him wrong.
Working the PR and marketing fields we will have great power. We will (hopefully) influence many people with our campaigns. OK, I have to quote Spiderman (sorry I know this is so cliche) “with power comes great responsibility.” Overused but true. Ethics in our field are important. It may be tempting to make a million by selling your ethical principals along with your soul, but be the bigger person. We may have clients that want us to pitch ideas. We have to think about the impact this decision would, and decided whether it is ethical or not. In the end we will impact the way people think, and we do not want to be evil spin doctors.
We are not “puppy killing practioners” so lets not have people looking at us like we are. As Godin explained marketing can be something beautiful, and I think that is what we should always strive for.