Third-party advocacy or constituency-building, as it’s sometimes called, is a most effective strategy for building public support for, or opposition to a contentious issue. Take Kansas. With 38 Nobel Laureates adding their weight in defense of Darwinism, one would think that intelligent (design) people would be moved. But those undermining the long-studied theory of evolution have their own “third-parties” in their corner, one of which is the scientific-sounding, anti-science Discovery Institute.
Now here’s the dirty secret of the PR profession and, in my opinion, its achilles heel. It’s the industry’s hand in conceiving faux-sounding advocacy groups whose names cloak their true raison d’etre, and more often than not, financial backers. It’s a common and accepted practice in business, politics, and even in the not-for-profit world of NGOs.
If transparency is something we hold up as an ideal, then the PR profession should look within to put an end to this publicly deceptive practice.