LA Times columnist Sandy Banks' piece on Denise Tyrrell's show of emotion during the early press conferences following the tragic Metrolink crash sparked nearly 100 reader comments, including a few who said Denise should run for President for being so honest.
When did we hear in this country such support for a PR professional?
By my count, about 80 percent of the comments to Banks' piece praised Denise for being honest and forthright. Interestingly, at least one reader comment from someone who said they were a practicing PR professional was highly critical, claiming Denise was issuing statements without authority and let her emotions overcome her professional responsibility. Apparently this commenter did not see or hear Denise's boss verify that he authorized the release of the information.
Another reader of Banks' piece said he usually has a bad opinion of PR people, but found Denise's candor refreshing.
To my colleagues, this is probably a perfect time to refresh trust in our profession. PRSA continues to take more and more proactive steps to uphold ethical values and standards of conduct within the public relations industry.
You can demonstrate your commitment to ethical conduct and practice your professionalism by either taking simple steps, or becoming more vocal. A simple step starts with the recent call by PRSA's "Clean and Fair Campaign 2008" group to encourage the two presidential candidates to conduct a truthful, ethical campaign. The Facebook group has more than 2,000 members - and really should have 100,000 members -- to pledge their support for this effort. Start your Facebook page now and take the pledge. That's pretty simple.
The more bold steps I leave up to you.