Does Big Business Have A PR Problem?

From today’s New York Times:

More than ever, Americans do not trust business or the people who run it.
Pollsters, researchers, even many corporate chiefs themselves say that business is under attack by a majority of the public, which believes that executives are bent on destroying the environment, cooking the books and lining their own pockets.
Many executives, while acknowledging the public antipathy, adamantly dispute the criticism. They note that some companies were more helpful than government in the wake of the tsunami in Asia and the Gulf Coast hurricanes. They argue that they are disclosing more financial information, and have cracked down on unethical behavior.
James R. Houghton, chairman of Corning, said he felt little animosity in Corning, N.Y., even though his company had cut thousands of jobs there. “Maybe I’m in an ivory tower, but I think society realizes that 98 percent of businesses are doing the right thing,” he said. “The press doesn’t write that, because it’s the world’s most boring story, and because business does a really lousy job of promoting itself.”

I know we’ve got some PR people who read AdPulp. What do y’all think? Is more/better PR needed? Or is there just an inherent nature in people to hate the big guys?



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.