An Ode to the Winter That Won’t End

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Over the centuries, great men (and I trust women) of letters have been inspired by nature, the seasons and the elements to craft verse and fiction.  One reason perhaps: There was not much else to do before Facebook, Instagram and Twitter except look out the window and chronicle what was taking place outside.

Following a walk home tonight in 9-degree weather and biting winds, I’ve spent the last several minutes trying to write a poem about this brutish, seemingly unceasing, possibly record-setting winter of 2013-14.

Perhaps an ode, defined as a lyrical stanza comprised of three major parts, is the thing.  Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Cold and snow
Wind and frost
We’ve had enough
So please get lost

Three months have past
You’ve worn us down
Dirty, dirty snow
Melt into the ground

March approaches
Will warm weather be near?
Will the outside beckon,
To enjoy a cold beer

Although I was an English major, it’s apparent poetry is not my strongest skill from a literary perspective.  But, I am proud of my accomplishments in the public relations arena and as a blogger. So, I’ve decided to switch gears and offer some thoughts and images on positive aspects related to the winter that (seemingly) won’t end.

To my knowledge, no one in Chicago who was stuck in their car during a storm ended up like this guy. I'll bet he doesn't even have a CD player of GPS.

To my knowledge, no one in Chicago who was stuck in their car during a storm ended up like this guy. I’ll bet he doesn’t even have a CD player or GPS in that vehicle.

Note the 5-foot high snowbanks adorning George Street.  Embed this image in your mind in August, when the air temperature reaches triple digits and there's nary a breeze to cool  you off.

Note the 5-foot high snowbanks adorning George Street on a sunny February day. Embed this image in your mind in August, when the air temperature reaches triple digits and there’s nary a breeze to cool you off. It might help.

Some may view this mound of dirty, jagged, packed snow as ugly. But look more closely: This is nature's beauty!

Some may view this mound of dirty, jagged, packed snow as ugly and disgusting. But look more closely: This is nature’s sculpted beauty! This is art! This could inspire poets!

So there.  My ode to winter in verse and images. Winter will end someday, but not anytime soon, as the weekend forecast calls for continued below normal temperatures and the possibility of snow — perhaps a lot.

That’s okay with me.  I’ll spend the time writing an ode to spring.

Want more “winter” thoughts from the PRDude?

Perhaps Not as Historic as The Beatles’ 50th Anniversary …

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” The PRDude is proud to announce that this marks the 200th post of this blog devoted to “The Lighter Side of Public Relations, Marketing & Communications (And Other Stuff).

Two hundredWhere to begin with some thoughts on this (seemingly) momentous occasion?

With Attributions. Many thanks to those who have taken the time to view my blog, which has acc0unted for 10,190 views as of today and 254 comments.  And, of course, a big shout out to the nice people at WordPress (whom I’ve never met) but provide this way cool open source platform.

On to Highlights. As a world-famous — at least in my own mind — Cutthroat twoblogger, I think every post is special.  But some are “more special” than others, most notably these two from 2013:  The July 13 post announcing my awesome new job (most single day visits at 115), and this one where I bashed the forthcoming “Cutthroat Kitchen” TV show, (585 views and counting.)

And, Some Favorites.  This blog was started way back in 2009, but I’ll share some recent posts that still catch my fancy.

In 2013,  I continued with an ongoing series of Q and A posts from friends and leaders from public relations and the communications industry:  Thoughts from a friend and colleague who transitioned from PR to real estate sales, insight from a leading expert on communicating to the Hispanic market, and the career and business perspectives of a successful independent PR pro.

The puzzle illustration of PR.

The puzzle illustration of PR.

And, I am fond of this February 2013 post on how PR can be employed to address falling space rocks, a June post on life values I learned by watching the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, and a December blog inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang.

Clearly, I don’t always blog about public relations, marketing or communications.  “Other stuff” can certainly be intriguing.

Nice round numbers — like 50 and 200 — offer natural reasons to reflect and analyze.  And, I could go further, but I’ll wait until the next milestone.

Lots of analysis preceded The Beatles’ half-century anniversary appearance on American television, and deservedly so.  One could say the lads from Liverpool most assuredly got “some good PR.”

APR Training Year Two: Guiding the Next Generation

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Aside from getting a permanent tattoo of the APR logo, I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate my commitment to the Accreditation in Public Relations program and the public relations profession than by helping fellow public relations professionals earn the credential.

APR_logoStarting next week, I’ll have that opportunity through my position as Accreditation chair and board member at PRSA Chicago.  Yes, I’ll be co-teaching a six-session program designed to nurture, inspire, cajole — hey, threaten if I have to (kidding, of course) — local colleagues who plan to take on the challenge of the APR program this year — the 50th year of Accreditation.

One may ask, “Why?”  Why allocate time and energy to the APR? Well, regular readers of The PRDude have read often about my passion for the credential and my unwavering belief in its value to elevate a practitioner from a tactician who knows how to a true strategist, a valued counselor who knows why.

Now, here’s perhaps a better question: Why would anyone with right mind want to pursue public relations as a career?Stress

According to this article from a leading industry publication, “public relations executive” ranks as the sixth most stressful job in America.  This is purported to be a statistically valid report, but I don’t see underwater welder or long-haul trucker anywhere in the top 10 list. ( As far as I know, no one in PR is submerged and clutching a torch while working or has to motor mile upon mile in a vehicle that’s 50 feet long with up to 18 speeds.)

But, for certain, working in public relations for a few decades can result in a few grey hairs and facial wrinkles.

I won’t ask the four candidates why they’re in the profession.  I will ask if they understand the challenges ahead, and if they’re prepared to work hard to earn the APR.  Without question, I will point out that Accreditation was the best thing this former journalist did career wise.

And, I have the grey hairs and wrinkles to prove it.

Want more from The PRDude on Accreditation?