Here we go againĀ 


A month or so ago, I wrote about the Ministry of Education spending $1 million on a promotional campaign that didn’t have any quanitifiable objectives.   
I complained about the seeming lack of professionalism from the communications people behind that call (and the blatant waste of taxpayers’ money). 
Now, we’re at it again.  This time it’s the National Party using highly dubious smoke and mirrors tactics to promote its tax policy.   
When launching its policy, National produced a lovely brochure in which it published ‘case studies’ of how allegedly real people would benefit from its tax reforms. 
But they weren’t real people at all.  The Party has been found out.  They used stock images from a photo library. 
And the case studies themselves – were they real?  No.  After repeated questioning on the subject, Nicola Willis finally admitted the “stories are characterisations”. 
I’m guessing that someone who calls themselves ‘a communications and PR professional’ would have had a hand in devising, advising on and producing this lovely marketing material. 
And, if so, I’m sorely disappointed that someone in my profession could be so … unprofessional and unethical. 
The Code of Ethics published by the Public Relations Institute (PRINZ) states that public relations professionals “are accurate and truthful …” and shall “Be honest and accurate in all communications”. 
I doubt Nicola is a PRINZ member so she’s not bound by our Code of Ethics (but you’d hope her personal code may prevent her obfuscating on such an important issue), but, like I said, I doubt she produced this brochure all by herself.  There’s bound to have been one ‘comms person’ involved. 
If so, that person(s) needs to examine their own ethics, because I’m pretty sure there’s been a transgression or two. 
Certainly, doesn’t do the communications and PR profession any favours in my view.   And it brings into question everything else that Nicola and her colleagues may want us to believe.  But that’s politics.