Never, ever lie.
While the Trumpisms continue to flow and take us to new levels of disbelief/dismay/horror, there is one thing to thank him for (yes, there really is). A focus on fake news. And by implication the importance of the truth.
A few centuries ago, when I was a student at Leeds University, one of my fellow volunteers on student radio was an ITN reporter and his mantra was that news had to be: ‘New, true and interesting.’ Which has stayed with me ever since.
The pressures of instant, 24/7 reporting mean that speculation is sometimes inevitable, I guess, but truth creep really needs to be resisted. Not tenaciously seeking out the real facts is something that could easily damage a brand’s reputation – management of which is the PR practitioner’s job. And once a lie is out there, goodness knows where it will end. Just think about the banking crisis, both sides of the Brexit debate, and Trump on Sweden, for example.
My CIPR colleague Stuart Baird recently wrote a post about essential advice for PR newbies, and one of the gems he collected was: ‘Never, ever lie’. Too right. The public is generally forgiving of errors. Accidents happen. But lies should not.
Thanks for reminding us, Donald.
Image credit: The Blemish