By Edward M. Bury, APR, aka The PRDude
This time of year, most appreciate the opportunity to share merriment and joy with family and friends. Or, they welcome Christmas in all its consumerism — shopping, buying, giving, receiving. And, there are those who have not lost sight of the fact the Christmas really means “Christ’s mass,” or the religious celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Me, I enjoy the days leading up to Christmas for a different reason: I enjoy taking solitude and reflecting on what the past year has yielded in terms of new friendships, accomplishments and challenges ahead.
Hey, don’t call me Mr. Grinch. I enjoy a celebration as much as the next guy. In fact, when I complete this post, I plan to stroll around the corner for a cold beer or two at my neighborhood tavern. But it’s times like this — alone with my thoughts and this keyboard — that really define what the year-end holidays are all about.
So, let me share some thoughts on this cold Chicago night, three days before Christmas.
I Believed in Myself, and Opportunity Came My Way. When I launched my search for that next great position in public relations, I knew it would be a challenge. The economy. My senior-level status. My expertise in the field of a down industry like real estate. These all could have been perceived as detriments. I did not. I would not let these or any other factors become obstacles or roadblocks to reaching my goal. I believed that I had value in today’s market, and I still do today.
I Have Seen the Future: And Public Relations is Part of It. The public relations profession has been bashed up and down from the days a century ago when pioneer Ivy Lee wrote his Declaration of Principles. A recent piece by a very prestigious publication, the Economist, took a particularly jaundiced view of public relations. Note to the disbelievers: Don’t underestimate the value behind effective public relations — especially in a world increasingly reliant on online communications and hand-held devices.
The public relations profession has more than just kept pace with developments involving the explosion of the internet and social media; we’ve helped shaped and defined this new way of communicating. Those of us who have made the transition from the old “press agent” model to strategic counselor will continue to play vital roles in society for the immediate future.
I’ve Realized That There’s Strength in Others. No question I have proven strengths, talents and abilities within the public relations and communications arenas. But I’m part of an industry, a member of a profession. My success is defined by standards I adhere to and so do others. I sincerely believe that I would not be as successful had I not sought out — and was accepted — by outstanding colleagues I work with on the Universal Accreditation Board, the PRSA Chicago Chapter and other groups.
I am Proud and Honored to Have This Forum. To those reading this post, and to those who have read my 70-plus posts in the past: Thanks for this opportunity. I hope to be a lot more vocal in the New Year. To you and anyone reading this: Merry Christmas and a very prosperous 2011.