Saturday, November 8, 2014

On PR, #PRSA and Professional Relationships

When communication missteps occur, it's common to sit back, ridicule and say we're learning from the actions of others (read: case studies). But do you ever consider the individuals actually dealing with these challenges? Do you ever think about the professionals responsible for cleaning up PR messes? Real people constantly monitor public speech for misguided, incorrect or inflammatory statements. One always hopes for the best but must prepare senior leadership (and themselves) for the worst.

Among the reasons I remain a loyal PRSA member is the opportunity to foster professional relationships. Some call this networking, but it goes deeper. Being connected to other professionals who have gone through similar communication challenges creates shared experience, understanding and encouragement. Can this be done outside of PRSA or any other professional organization? Of course it can. But in my experience, working alongside dedicated volunteers is the perfect way to ripen relationships.

People matter. Their stories matter. Yes, you can learn from the mistakes of others, but you can also learn from teaching and encouraging friends. My hope this year in PRSA is that not only have we provided quality programming to help with members' professional development and award-worthy work, but also provided moments for relationships.

And we're not finished. Just like people, Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA is a work in progress. I encourage each member to look for ways to plug in to the chapter through volunteerism and, more importantly, to lean in, talk and listen to one another.

(Photo credit: cityhunter12 on Flickr Creative Commons)