PRWeek Communicator of the Year – Nick Clegg!

It’s no joke. The PRWeek magazine judging panel comprising 62 senior PR professionals:

…praised Clegg for his smart general election communications campaign that positioned him as a fresh alternative to the other political parties.

You really could not make this stuff up.  The falling reputation of PR professionals is taking them into the same bottom division as politicians and estate agents. When senior members of a discipline such as PR confer accolades upon a man who blatantly lied, distorted and misrepresented their way through an election campaign the only conclusion that can be drawn is that they themselves are not honourable. Perhaps there is a political element to the decision as the write up of the award goes on to add:

In fewer than 12 months, Clegg has gone from leading a party frustrated by a lack of media attention to the full glare of the world’s media, as he walked side by side with Prime Minister David Cameron into 10 Downing Street on 11 May.

His greatest achievement was his performance at the General Election’s three inaugural leaders’ debates. At the time, PRWeek’s survey of 3,000 members of the UK public found 62 per cent said Clegg was the leader who came out the strongest, compared with 21 per cent for David Cameron and only 16 per cent for Gordon Brown.

As PRWeek editor Danny Rogers said: ‘Clegg’s comms prowess won over viewers and ultimately led him to Downing Street.’

Communication is not just about cascading messages, it is also about listening to people. Nick Clegg has shamelessly ignored the wishes of the voters he courted and served his own interests, yet he is being lauded by leading lights in the Public Relations industry. Professionals who work in the field of Communications and PR should be feeling very uncomfortable today.

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