Mortgage PR: it’s not about lying – it’s about research

On the one hand, trust in the media is a problem for the communications industry. On the other, public relations has very little to do with the creation of it.  The review of defence and security policy suggests arms of the Russian state promote most fake news operations. Apparently, the Wagner Group, a private defence company, offers its clients disinformation campaigns. Mortgage PR, it aint.


Corporate PRs – even mortgage PRs – don’t aspire to push propaganda – or even bent untruths.  There’s very little need to be “economical… with the actualité”.  That’s my experience anyway. Absolute Power was a good show. However, it doesn’t reflect corporate PR in the mortgage industry.

I’m more interested in positioning my clients as thought-leaders than trying to bend the media to my will. Consequently, I think PR practitioners are quite benign really – we’re bridge-builders between the corporate world and media outlets. That is to say, we are our clients’ defence lawyer in the court of public opinion; the devil’s advocate (as long as Satan pays his fees). On the one hand, a good percentage of the job is still about peddling press releases. On the other hand, I spend plenty of my time on research. As a result, I just don’t think it’s that evil, helping a business put its best corporate foot forward.

Moreover, it’s rare you even have to make excuses, frankly. On that note, I read an excellent quote in The Knowledge (great newsletter) recently. It highlighted that even one of our nation’s greatest literary heroines – Jane Austen herself – was capable of a bit of “terminological inexactitude”.


Jane Austen wasn’t much of a gardener. In 1811, Cassandra, the 35-year-old novelist’s sister, charged Jane with looking after her mulberry trees while she was away. Austen killed all of them. “I will not say that your mulberry trees are dead,” she wrote in a letter to Cassandra. “But I am afraid they are not alive.”

And you’d never call Jane Austen evil.

If you care about your brand’s reputation, and you are interested in protecting or growing it, get in touch.

James Staunton is the founder of Air Cover PR, a B2B comms agency specialising in the creation of thought leadership content and corporate PR for businesses in the mortgage, property and HR spaces.

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