Friday, November 03, 2006

Iraq - a case study for PR practitioners from the BBC

The BBC's Paul Reynolds has been looking at the propaganda, diplomatic and public relations lessons of the Iraq war in this US election week.

I understand that Mr Reynolds does not know what PR is (how many journalists do) and so he is forgiven for mistakes of nomenclature.

His quote from Walter Cronkite brings back memories:

"To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion.

"On the off-chance that military and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy's intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations.

"But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors but as an honourable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.

"This is Walter Cronkite. Good night."

This was a moment when war was decive but propaganda diplomacy was a failiure.

If only they had use public relations, that last, and perhaps this present war, would have been less bloody.