By Richard Thomas

I have seen it at first hand – always be open and honest and never pretend to be something you are not… especially in PR.

And that is backed up by Ragan’s PR Daily Dorothy Crenshaw when she says: “most PR executives would agree that honesty also promotes trust. Both are key to a successful relationship.”

Unfortunately, I have worked for people in PR who were often somewhat economic with reality. I would even call it disingenuous.

For instance, one company had a base in one city and claimed to have another office in a more affluent location. It did not. It was a virtual office with a contact phone number at best. A classic case of appearing to be something you were patently not.

Too often we were forced to press the BS button. That did not sit well with my business conscience and I have learned lessons on adopting ethical practice at all times. So what, if your honesty subsequently fails to seal you the deal with a potential client – at least you can sleep at night.

As well as being truthful and open: always offer what you can deliver. Do not give the impression you have more staff than you do; and certainly do not go into a pitch over-selling yourself knowing you will struggle to back up your promises.

It will catch you out and you will get rumbled and your reputation will be tarnished irrevocably. For instance, nothing worse that offering an events management side of your company when all you have done is organise the odd run-of-the-mill golf day or minor restaurant opening.

Talking the talk means very little in reality. And if you do feel you have to talk the talk make sure you then walk the walk before you go on to run the run.