Publication1Occasionally I have bursts of “Wow, that’s interesting!” thinking that surprise even me.

A recent episode was triggered by a realization that many of the important words that we bandy about in the business world start with the letters “PR.”

Although I don’t usually refer to my profession with just those two letters…I prefer to say the words “public relations”…the practice is common and I’m okay with it.

Then it hit me. “PR” introduces many of the words that are used in describing successful businesses and successful businesspeople.

Piqued your interest? Here goes:

  • “PRofessional” – One of the key descriptors of someone who sets an example for others to follow.
  • “PRide” – If you’re not proud of what you’re doing for a living, do something else!…and be amazing at it!
  • “PRomise” – Optimism and belief in your ability to do great things.
  • “PRogressive” – “Lead, follow, or get out of the way”…success doesn’t come from “same ol’, same ol’.”
  • “PRoductive” – Goes without saying…if you’re not accomplishing what you set out to accomplish, what’s the use?

“PR”…public relations…can and should be at the forefront of all success business initiatives. Our value to our organization or client lies in our ability to PRovide advice and counsel at all levels.

We must be, as I remind my Curry College students day-after-day, the “eyes and ears” of the organization…knowledgeable of current perceptions of our business and current attitudes of those with whom we wish to do business. And we must be willing to take a stand based on that knowledge.

And, we must be PRoactive in our efforts. Waiting until there is smoke coming out the windows serves neither our purposes nor those of our stakeholders.

As successful public relations professionals, we must deliver the guidance that our employer or client needs but often doesn’t know how to request. Ours is not a profession of neatly-laid-out sequences of events. In today’s world, especially, things change in the blink of an eye…and we must be PRimed to respond correspondingly.

Edward L. Bernays, arguably the “Father of Public Relations,” had this to say about our profession: “The counsel on public relations…understands the relationships of groups and individuals to one another; he advises on, and to some extent directs and supervises, activities that are instrumental in bringing about better adjustment between individuals and groups and the publics on whom they are dependent for survival and growth. He interprets the public to the client and the client to the public…He helps people to understand one another better.”

Eddie’s words, written in 1961, hold just as true today. Are you PRepared?

Kirk Hazlett

Kirk Hazlett

Professor at Curry College
Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, holds the position of Associate Professor, Communication/ Public Relations, at Curry College. He also is a member of the Public Relations Society of America's Board of Ethics and Professional Standards. Kirk has 35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience, followed by nearly 10 years' undergraduate- and graduate-level college teaching experience. Some of the organizations he has counseled include the Blood Bank of Hawaii, Medical Area Service Corporation and Boston Harborfest. He blogs at A Professor's Thoughts.
Kirk Hazlett