The rise of social media and online dating services has fueled the amount of lying going on in communications. Some people call it “spin”, others say it’s “fudging the truth” but I prefer the old-fashioned word. We all lie. Recent surveys show on average we lie once or twice a day and deceive about 30 people per week. My clients ask me all the time – “Should I lie?”
A recent “publicity maven” who drives me crazy with her drivel on a regular basis (I won’t give you her name, but it starts with J. and gives canines a bad name) just sent out an email suggesting that someone lie to get his product in stores. I don’t think that works because rule number one in PR is NEVER LIE IF IT’S GOING TO BE BROADCASTED OR PRINTED SOMEWHERE. Look at poor Angelina Jolie who just announced she’d only slept with four men in her life. Oh what fun the sleazemonger celeb media had pulling out all of her previous wild woman quotes about meeting strange men in hotels and such. OUCH.
Try not to state something as a fact if it’s a wish. That’s my rule. Use words like “I believe my book will be in most bookstores by the end of the year.” or “I’m hoping that Target will soon have the product on its shelves.” And don’t lie to a reporter or producer. They’ll never forgive you for it. As for the “publicity maven” who is suggesting you lie on air? I think we need to cancel her subscription.