The Current State of PR in Portugal

Last week I wrote a rant on how Public Relations is seen in Portugal. To sum everything up,

  • We are seen as party-goers, guest relations or hosts at night clubs;
  • There are several Blogs from PR Professionals, some of which have a great deal of influence in the market. These blogs focus more on soap-opera discussions, exchanges of personal remarks that don’t belong in this public sphere;
  • When we saw the Stockholm Accords come to light, I couldn’t find one mentioning it and the importance they have for our profession;
  • The few PR associations around have not shown any action towards building a professional association or simply building awareness towards what the profession in fact is.

This rant began after yet another comment on a post titled “to be a PR professional in Portugal“, which was written in my old blog back in 2007 and keeps gathering new comments. The last of those comments is an “ad” for a job opening at a Night Club. Discouraging to say the least.

To top it off, over 1500 pageviews later, my initial rant does not seem to have made a dent. Not a single comment, not a single mention.

I believe that in the current state of things, Public Relations in Portugal may face its demise but I am not willing to go out without a fight.

What's on your mind?

13 comments to The Current State of PR in Portugal

  1. vasco vasconcelos September 20, 2010 at 01:19

    Good post.
    I totally agree with your perspective. In fact, I remember back in the day, when I first started my PR College Degree , most people had no idea – and still don’t – what PR really is.
    Sign me in for that fight. :)

  2. Things are changing! Don’t be so pessimistic. Students in “our” Communication degree are becoming more and more interested in Public Relations (honor and master dissertations are increasing), we are publishing and bringing practitioners to academy. Slow changeā€¦ but change.

    ***

    • I am not being a pessimist, I wish I was. Students becoming more aware is indeed a good sign, I won’t deny that. But once they finish their degrees, they will face a market where PR is not understood as a management function. What then?

      The one thing that makes me feel we’re done for is that the most influential PR professionals are in no way interested in fighting for a Professional Class.

      It’s up to us to take charge of the problem and offer positive solutions and not just a spin on old methods that have not worked.

  3. Seems like you’re not too different from situation in Latvia. Maybe a common problem of small markets?

    • Ingars, I do believe that being a small market is a factor. However, a small market is also more flexible. It should be fairly simple to mobilize professionals in Portugal or Latvia. If it’s not, then we need to find out what’s wrong.
      Most often, the problem is our own lack of involvement.

  4. Well, Bruno… You just described my opinion, the only difference is that I live in Brazil. Despite the distance, looks like we have a lot in common about the PR industry in our countries.

    Here we can’t rely on any associations too and there’s nothing coming from opinion leaders nor any other leadership who’d have the strengths to gather practioners and make the proper “call to arms”…

    After all, we can’t just wait for them… but there’s no way to stand for a one-man-war against all.

    Keep up with your nice work and be the leader PR needs to build a good army.

    Continue na luta!

    • Gustavo, thank you for the comment. And yes, one thing that I did notice on my old blog was that there are a few parallels between Portugal and Brazil.

      But at least, in Brazil the PR discipline receives the necessary attention in legislation as far as I know.

  5. PR like medicine and law is hard to define because it has gradually become specialized, however I believe it is up to us as PR professionals to educate people about our respective roles because it is about people and relationships.
    Education Institutions and professional associations are good ways to do so.

    Even as individuals we should help our employees understand our roles and how they fit into the operation of a company It is sad to see ads on night club job openings.

    The Stockholm Accords is a milestone in the PR industry something that is here to shape the future of PR i encourage you all to read it.

    • Gloria, I fully agree that the Accords are an important milestone, hence my dismay when I see that no one in Portugal opted to comment on it or simply mention it properly. (Again, as far as I know and see.)

      Additionally, what have we done as individuals to foster the Accords? Did we share the document with co workers and management at least? Did we suggest changes to current mission statements and guidelines?

      I know that at one point I tried to share the document with coworkers, and I also know that they didn’t read it. I also understand that it is not easy to even suggest changes to top management, specially changes that will hopefully impact corporate culture.

  6. Pratik Bhattarai September 14, 2011 at 08:28

    i would like to apply for pr in partugal but i dont knw any system….

  7. Very interesting the way you describe PR in Portugal!! That’s exactly what I thought PR was about, until I started my PR module!!
    PR is the future…lets broaden our minds!! ( Portuguese people)
    Parabens pelo seu blog ;)

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