Oh, those EVIL PR people! As PRWeek (subscription required) reports, PR agencies were the subject of a spoof in a very convincing satirical version of the NY Times distributed this week as part of a NYC stunt staged by liberal advocacy groups:
The issue depicts President Barack Obama’s administration having ‘enacted’ legislation that regulated government agencies’ dealings with PR agencies. The groups, including Yes Men, Anti-Advertising Agency, United for Peace and Justice, and Improv Everywhere, distributed more than one million copies of the issue, bolstering it with an Internet version also mimicking the Times‘ Web site.
When I first heard about it, I thought it would be spoofy in a witty Onion sort of a way. Turns out it’s spoofy in an unfunny, self-righteous, cranky kind of way. It’s yet another attack on the PR industry about which — believe me — I’m able to be objective and self-aware. But I am a-weary of critics criticizing our industry without acknowledging the good that PR does…so those evil geniuses called out at Burson-Marsteller in the satire are also behind such good works as a responsible drinking campaign and an effort to educate consumers about heart health. Burson isn’t a sister agency, I don’t have ties there, frankly they’re a competitor of ours — I just think it’s worth pointing out that those who want to sling arrows our way would be wise to recognize that without us doing what we do, there would be lots of people, places and things worthy of discussion that would never see the light of day.