The Feb. 15 article headlined “Abe PR flack U.S.-bound for media spin control” is insulting to those of us in the public relations business, because both “flack” and “spin” are pejoratives that do not accurately convey the essence of what PR professionals actually do.

If The Japan Times uses “flack” to describe a PR person, then the media equivalent would be to call a journalist a “hack,” and in that context the unsuitability of both labels is clear.

“Spin” is typically a term that implies deceptive and dishonest communications designed to manipulate public opinion. While it is true that PR agencies are engaged by clients to communicate their perspective, freedom to express a point of view is fundamental in a democracy and we are professionally bound to do so in a factual manner at all times. Ours is not the only PR consultancy to have a strict code of conduct in place to ensure transparent and honest communications at all times.

robert pickard

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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