News of Mr Cummings’ impending departure from Number 10, leaked, we notice with a delicious irony, some days in advance of it happening, is evidence of an important adage. When the communications person takes centre stage, the organisation they represent is usually in trouble. Public relations is best conducted in the wings and the most talented communicators usually stay firmly out of the spotlight.
The result of the clandestine nature of our art is, of course, that as an industry we are uniquely undervalued by the public at large because they don’t have a clue about what it is we do. Expenditure on “public relations” is usually assumed to be wasted money on fluff, on vanity projects, and a service that is somehow unreal.
The fact that a good communications strategy can make or break a brand, a business or even a government is lost on most people. Sadly I don’t see this changing anytime soon.