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Truth tellers against “alternative facts”

In a week where the term “alternative facts” entered our lexicon, it’s refreshing to see professional communicators of all stripes standing up to resist any effort to distort the truth. We stand with them and the media that pledge to seek out and report the facts.

Throughout Public Communications Inc.’s 55-year history, we have never wavered in our client counsel or work as truth tellers. PCI professionals are deeply committed to our clients – and the public – to help them accurately convey their stories and messages and to build trust.

Anything less than the truth damages public trust and an individual’s or organization’s credibility. And when high-profile spokespersons use terms such as “alternative facts” and claim to “disagree with the facts,” it damages the integrity of our public discourse.

Several PCI counselors, including me, previously worked as journalists, and we were trained to seek, vet and report only the facts. Gathering facts is more difficult than most might imagine because there are people and groups that work to hide or distort information. We have tremendous respect for reporters committed to the search for truth. And we take seriously our role as trusted partners with the media on behalf of our clients. 

PCI applauds the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for its strong statement this week defending truth. Our professional team is deeply committed to PRSA’s Code of Ethics, which states:

“We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.”

People are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts. PR pros have always known that. So from our perspective, nothing has changed.

We will continue to anchor our work in facts. The alternative is simply not an option.

Jill Allread, APR is Chief Executive Officer, Public Communications Inc., and has been a co-owner of the agency for more than 20 years.