To know the world around you, to understand how an action taken by a foreign government thousands of miles away can impact yours, to try to ascertain which behaviour fits best a set scenario and what cues you could use to immediately change it when it all goes haywire, to know as much as the business leaders or government representatives you are there to support do, to constantly challenge your perceptions and bias and take each human being as a multitude of stories and experiences, to never stop learning and to constantly ask yourself: “do I really know enough about this?” – are part of the reasons why I’ll always be proud to work in Public Relations although, over the years, I’ve been told that what I do is “not PR but strategy”.
As a practice, we are as diverse as medicine or engineering are – a lot of specialisms, a multitude of approaches and an eclectic mix of (no) professional and/or academic qualifications. If we set our mind to do it, we could change the world for the better, noting that many times in the very near past we changed it for the worse.
In PR, it is difficult to separate your personal beliefs and values from the ethics of our practice; to do it well, especially when you do it for the higher echelons of business and governments, you have to either passionately believe in what you do or, as we have been proved by past examples, be a great liar or have the ability to compartmentalise everything.
Most of all, PR is about the legacy you leave behind and the lives you touch either through your work or through those you help/coach/mentor.
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