Last Sunday, CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen challenged the integrity of the public relations profession while commenting on former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's controversial new book about his work as part of the Bush Administration. The CBS story, entitled, The Flak Over Flacks: In The Wake Of Scott McClellan's New Book, Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen Says PR People Are Aghast At The Truth charges that the very essence of the PR industry is based on lies. Cohen also pokes fun at the PRSA code of ethics, claiming that the PRSA principle to adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth was akin to the Burglars Association of America adopting the rule "Thou Shalt Not Steal" as its creed.
It goes without saying that PRSA was less than amused by Cohen's comments and that the organization has launched a series of responses to Cohen's attack. The first response came in form of a a letter to CBS submitted by Julin on behalf of PRSA and its Board of Directors. Three days after issuing its intial response, PRSA took the fight to Youtube by releasing a video response to Cohen.
Interesting to note that PRSA did not have a YouTube channel prior to this incident. The PRSA channel was created on June 2nd - a day after Cohen made his derogatory remarks about the PR industry. Seems like sometimes it takes a crisis to get businesses and organizations to adopt social media as a communication vehicle.