Two thoughtful speeches have been given to PR practitioners in London in recent weeks. Both make a strong argument for public relations best practice.
Lord Chadlington (Peter Gummer) spoke (PDF) of his 40 years in public relations.
I am proud of being in PR and, while I am ocasionally appalled at the antics of some who call themselves PR practitioners, I am increasingly impressed with the quality of younger people who are now making it their number one career choice.
He goes on to list his ten rules for good PR behaviour. His advice chimes with that given recently by Jim Horton:
The fun part of PR is not media hits — although they are satisfying — and not writing and production — although everyone should be able to do that, it is tackling problems and finding solutions. It is an ability to walk through a client’s dilemma and to find effective and realistic ways to communicate the client’s message. Implementation becomes a test of one’s recommendations.
But it requires constant reading, learning and thinking to know what to do and how. Constant connectedness is white noise that obscures good ideas. There is a role for silence, and we forget that in PR.
On another occasion, to a different audience, Dejan Vercic mixed personal and academic perspectives to speak (PDF) on the theme that ‘public relations is an old and noble profession, essential for the preservation of an open society’.
‘Neither Yugoslavia nor socialism tolerated public relations,’ he said in reference to his upbringing, ‘yet it was this profession that I decided to pursue.’