Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry

Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry

Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry

Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry

Excerpt

Just two days ahead of the 1993 federal election, a 'bomb' was found on a railway line near a log yard in north-west Tasmania with a banner implying it was the handiwork of environmentalists. The 'bomb' was breathlessly reported in the media at face value as 'eco-terrorism', coverage that undoubtedly helped defeat the Green's bid to win their first-ever Senate seat in what was a knife-edge election result (see chapter 6 for more details). To me, it just felt wrong, but gut instinct that it wasn't environmentalists didn't constitute hard evidence. Whoever was behind it, it seemed obvious that it was something worth investigating. Discussions with a handful of the journalists soon revealed there was widespread disinterest in investigating further. 'Why bother', 'too hard', 'old news' was the gist of the responses. If journalists weren't going to investigate further, then I decided I would.

It became apparent to me that I would need to understand how PR campaigns were developed and implemented to understand this story. The mainstream media was of little use, as the PR industry went largely unreported. PR textbooks were bland, focused on the basics of harmless publicity campaigns, and they often relied on uncritical case studies. The global PR

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