We all need some inspiration and advice when it comes to figuring out our career paths. Quotes give you a guide, something easy to remember and helpful to live by. Here are some of my favorite quotes for the young PR professional to know:
“Advertising is saying you’re good. PR is getting someone else to say you’re good.” – Jean Louis Gassee
This quote is as close as you’ll get to an accurate depiction of public relations. In public relations, we don’t pay for promotions, advertisements or others to say they’re good. We need to work our butts off to make sure people BELIEVE we are good, and tell others we are good. It’s about building a relationship with your clients, making sure there is a mutual trust. If you can get someone else to talk positively on behalf of your company, then you know you’re on the right track.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffet
Strategy, strategy, strategy! When performing tasks, especially those with high media exposure, make sure your actions are done with strategy. It is never good to “wing” it in the public relations field. Check out what happens when you don’t think it through before acting.
A simple social media blunder: DiGiorno Pizza tried to jump on the #Hashtag bandwagon, but didn’t understand what the hashtag meant before posting it. In reality, the #WhyIStayed hashtag was to discuss powerful stories of domestic violence… not something worth joking about with pizza.
They didn’t take time to think this one through. Urban Outfitters released a “Vintage” on-of-a-kind Kent State sweatshirt that had a clear reference to the 1970 killing of four students protesting the Vietnam War by the Army National Guard. Urban outfitters later apologized on twitter saying, “Was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such.”
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” – Rudyard Kipling
As PR professionals we are constantly writing. Press releases, newsletters, tweets, grants, speeches, you name it! With all of this experience under our belt, we can accidentally get in the “robotic” flow of writing, not paying attention to how each word may resonate with the audience. It is important to pick and choose your words carefully when going into the public eye. Be cautious of derogatory words, slurs or negative connotations. We need to know our audience, and we need to be aware of triggers within that audience. Pick words that will make your audience rally behind
your cause instead of fight against it. Practicing and testing out your work before releasing it for everyone to see and hear is the best way to avoid a PR discriminatory disaster. Also, keep in mind how the audience may take your words verses what you actually mean. If you answer a question with “no comment’ you may actually not know the answer to something, whereas the audience may take it as you’re hiding something. Think before write, and rewrite before you speak.
As you navigate through the PR industry it is important to have quotes like this to keep you in check. No matter how much experience or fancy titles you’ve had, everyone is susceptible to mistakes. By having go-to quotes to live by in your profession can ensure you’re doing public relations the RIGHT way, being a positive influencer between an organization and its audiences.