How do you pitch the role of PR?

Ben Dutton, an account manager in New Zealand, has made a strong argument for the value of PR in an open and democratic society.

An open democracy operates in a free marketplace of ideas and information. A good analogy is the foreign exchange market ...

Through partaking in public relations, companies, governments, organisations and individuals are all adding to the richness and diversity of the information available ...

Public relations practitioners are the currency speculators of the information market, helping create an equilibrium of ideas in our society. This is an outcome that ultimately benefits everyone.

Of course, it doesn't seem like an open and democratic society is the priority of the Disney corporation. (NYT, reg. req.) They've effectively blocked Miramax from exercising their North American distribution rights to a new Michael Moore film critical of President Bush.

Now, this may have something to do with Zenia Mucha, a former high-level aide to Governor Pataki of NY, being the head of comm for Disney. But it also has a lot to do with Disney being a stodgy and conservative company.