Communication consultants are exposed to secrets that will take them to the grave
The Likud’s Knesset bill will bring a new day to the Israeli PR world. We are exposed to confidential and sensitive information just like lawyers and I wholeheartedly believe that secrecy is an an absolute must in our profession
I got up to a new day for media consultants and PR professionals, a profession that has been an integral part of my life, for 35 years.
A brave Knesset member, Shlomo Qari, initiated a bill stating that a communications consultant / spokesperson and client would be privileged, similar to the lawyer-client relationship.
Ever since I started this profession, and in the 2020 era even more strongly so, the media, on many different platforms, as well as social networks, plays a significant and integral part in our lives. The public is flooded with information, most of which comes in the process consisting of a relationship between journalists and consultants and clients – for their benefit.
The relationship that each company or individual has with the general public is as much influenced by their image as reflected in the various media outlets. In the case of a food company, for example, the path to the heart of the public may go through the stomach, but it must also pass through the media, which shapes public opinion towards it. This is why most organizations, as well as elected officials, work with a professional – a media consultant, who knows how to navigate the ship in the sea of information, refining what’s important, pinpointing the messages and highlighting the main and interesting thing. The public-media agenda should be natural and proper and receive proper exposure, reflecting its aspirations.
Communication counseling has codes, language and conduct. This is a profession that has a beginning, a middle and an end. The end, by the way, is not always good, because a good press is independent and free of any interest, the one who ‘hears everything’, but finally passes its interpretation. Our job is to manage professional, transparent, clear, healthy and fair communication with the communications systems, in order to achieve the best for the customer.
We, the media consultants and public relations people, run day to day, hour by day, in the face of confidential, confidential and sensitive information, just like lawyers. Maybe without a ‘certificate of certification’, but we are dealing with the second court; the media.
Frequently, the communications consultant is considered to be the person closest to the client, exposed to his or her professional, personal life, goals, deals (or not), difficulties, competitors, mistakes, wonder, successes, downfalls. He is with him in the most difficult moments of his life, as well as the most successful ones. Accordingly, he also builds the strategy and work plan and his success depends to a great extent on his level of creativity and relevance. But with all due respect to the professional successes for the benefit of the client, I believe that the second thread in the work is the issue of confidentiality, loyalty and morality.
I believe with all my heart that such a law – for the benefit of both parties – is of the utmost importance to enable free flow of information, infringing mutual communication, and changing caution – accordingly. Not only do I regard this proposal as legitimate and welcome, but I have always believed that this is an order of the time in the profession, which is a regular change in everything.
During my career, I was exposed to such sensitive things, that will go ‘to the grave’ with me – not because the information could destroy businesses or families, but because our professional existence would not have been justified without our integrity. And when fidelity and confidentiality are the name of the game, it is appropriate to regulate clear ethics in the law.