Belief and doubt in PR and why they are important

Technical PR and social media
Is the world round? 
Being great big nerds here at Stone Junction we were definitely very excited when Terry Pratchett’s most recent literary collaboration with mathematician Ian Stewart and biologist Jack Cohen, The Science of Discworld IV, was released earlier this year. 

The book is their latest exploration into scientific allegory, exploring the nature of our own universe, planet and origins through comparison to Pratchett’s fantastical Discworld. (In the book our own planet Earth is logically referred to as ‘Roundworld’).

Science is what our Roundworld runs on, and Pratchett argues that science is all to do with doubt.

The scientific method that crystallised during the Renaissance is centred on doubt; a hypothesis is proposed and then tested to within an inch of it’s life to try and disprove it. If it cannot be disproved then it is accepted as a theory, grudgingly and with a look from the scientists in question that says, ‘don’t get comfortable.’ In science then, success is inextricably linked to doubt.

The polar opposite of this is in Pratchett's view is human centred thinking, in which to succeed one must have belief in what you are doing; belief being the fundamental force that keeps Pratchett’s magical Discworld running smoothly. For instance, Salvador Dali once delivered a lecture while wearing a deep sea diving suit and helmet, not an act one would perform without a belief that it was the right thing to do.

This comparison between the artistic and scientific fields is one that we feel can be applied to help us understand PR.

In a sense, what we do for a living is a mix of these two concepts; there is no point in promoting a company if you don’t demonstrate belief in them; you will come across as insincere.

However, the measurement of success in PR is all about doubt. Success has to be demonstrated through tangible results like sales impact, surveys, or SEO rankings. This promotes an unusual set of skills in those employed by PR agencies, who need to both demonstrate belief in their clients and their activities while simultaneously doubting their success until it can be empirically proven.

Do we at Stone Junction possess these qualities? We certainly believe so, and the proof speaks for itself.

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Richard Stone

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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