That’s More Like It: Ten Replies to PR Straw Poll

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

What a difference a couple of days — and a little patience — makes.

I’m referring to my little “straw poll” issued earlier this month on the subject of the most pressing issue ahead for the public relations industry.

Public-RelationsIn my post from November 17, I announced that only two loyal readers cast votes. But on review this evening, the final day of November 2015, I’m pleased to announce there are 10 responses! Three visitors selected the “other” option and typed in short thoughts of their own.

To all who participated: Thank you.

You contributed to what should be an ongoing dialogue among public relations professionals on the state of the ever-evolving profession. We need to continually redefine the boundaries of what we do, need to tactfully address situations when “public relations” is misused and confused with some other form of communications.

Now, without further delay, the results:

1. Improved/enhanced measurement: 4 responses or 40%

2. Other: 3 responses or 30%

  • Actually doing PR, instead of just publicity
  • Better integration with the business world
  • Better PR for PR

3. Better integration with other communications disciplines: 2 responses or 20%

4. Need for greater transparency: 1 response or 10%

5. Managing a crisis in a digital world: no responses or 0%

Of course, I would have liked to have received 1,000 or even 100 responses to my poll. (An aside: If you would like to contribute to the conversation, please add a comment when you’re done reading this post.)

But these few answers do offer some very informal primary research on the state of public relations at year-end 2015.

And, of course, I can always revisit this topic next year. I trust there will be something relevant to discuss on the state of public relations.





Hey Adele: I’ve Got a Song for 26 (Or Whatever Your Next Album is Titled)

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

By now, its sold more than 2.43 million copies in the United States. And, there’s projections that it will sell around 28 million more.

Of course, I’m referring to 25, the latest collection of torchy ballads and uptempo songs from British pop phenomenon Adele.

(You can buy 25 here from iTunes. And, no, I don’t get a commission for sharing this link.)

AdeleFull disclosure: I’ve not listened to 25, but I did catch Adele’s performance of “Hello” on “Saturday Night Live” last weekend. Yes, she has a voice and yes, she can deliver a moving performance.

And yes, Adele probably has made a lot of money just on the sale of “Hello” alone.

Which gets to the center point of this post. I want to offer Adele one of my original compositions for her next album. Price to be negotiated. And, the song:

I Saw Your Smile

I saw your smile in the brilliant sunset
Then it faded in the clouds
Flying west, I’ll think about you
Flying west, I’ll have no doubt

I saw your smile in the silent darkness
The cabin lights showed me the way
The engine hums, I think I hear you
The engine hums, I’m still awake

Chorus: We had a plan to travel together
We made a plan to get far away
But sometimes life will leave you waiting
That’s when you’ve got to seize the day

I saw your smile while I was sleeping
And when I landed that lonely night
My love flows east I hope you hear me
My love flows east keep it in sight

Copyright: Edward M. Bury, 2014

As you can guess, this song was written on an airplane. It’s a 720x405-adele-press-new-2015ballad I play on guitar from G, and I think it would be perfect for 26, 35 or whatever Ms. Adkins (Adele’s last name) decides to call her next collection.

Since she burst on the music scene in 2008 with her debut disc, 19, Adele has managed her career artfully.  She’s chosen songs that appeal to a wide audience, and I trust she’s had some very qualified public relations and marketing counsel build awareness for her career moves.

Note to Adele: I know a few things about public relations, and I even covered the music scene for a local monthly publication way back in the 1980s. Most artists were of the heavy metal, blues or indie rock genre, but I’m a quick learner.

So, Adele, call me.  (Okay, have your people call me.) We’ll do lunch. And, talk price on my composition, should you want to record it. I’ll even pick up the tab.

One final note: If “I Saw Your Smile” is not to your liking, I have around 50 more songs you could consider.

Results of Straw Poll on PR, My Turn and More

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

The results are in from last week’s “straw poll” on pressing issues facing public relations.

Straw Poll

If you vote in my straw poll, I promise to recycle the straws shown. Promise.

Sincere thanks to all — well both — loyal readers who cast votes in my simple barometer attempt on the state of the profession.  And, now for the results to the four questions posed:

  1. Better integration with other disciplines: 1 vote
  2. Improved/enhanced measurement: 1 vote
  3. Need for greater transparency: No votes
  4. Managing crisis in a digital world: No votes
  5. Other: No votes

Is my spirit broken at the poor results? Not at all.  Did I expect a huge response? Not really.

I understand that people are busy, and my little poll faces a lot of competition for attention and interest. But if you’d still like to cast a vote, the poll remains open:

(By the way, hundreds of public relations professionals met in Atlanta this month to learn and share ideas. Visit the PRSA website and scroll to the “What’s New” section at left to read reports from the 2015 national conference on presentations from industry thought leaders.)

Now, on to the topic I maintain is the most pressing and compelling issue before the public relations profession: The need for those of us in public relations to do a better job of defining the practice — what constitutes public relations and what does not.

A case in point happened Friday while I watched the local morning news. A history professor from a prestigious Chicago university was commenting on the murderous actions of the Islamic State, including the quality and effectiveness of videos and social media tactics used to recruit and spread  its warped message of hate and terror.

The professor ended the segment by stating that the group also known as ISIS has developed “a very good public relations department.”

No, no, no!

This type of communications has nothing to do with modern public relations.

This type of communications has nothing to do with modern public relations.

Professor, it’s called “propaganda.” What ISIS and other terrorist groups employ to communicate is diametrically the opposite of modern public relations, which is based on transparency, open disclosure and safeguarding confidences and rooted in doing something positive for society.

It’s this misconception of the practice of ethical, effective public relations that needs to be addressed by those of us in the  profession. We should not let this continue unabated. Given the horrific attacks in Paris last week, we can anticipate that there will be continued discussion regarding the videos, tweets and posts that originate from terrorist cells around the world. As a profession, public relations professionals should actively address situations such as the one mentioned above and offer clarification. Let’s collectively do what we do best: Communicate the truth.

To those practitioners who question the validity of my thoughts or wonder whether these suggestions have merit, let me offer this final thought: Do you want the communications work you conduct for clients to be equated with the type of communications presented by terrorists? I trust not.


A Virtual Straw Poll: What’s the Top Issue Facing Public Relations?

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

As I write this, hundreds of public relations professionals are learning, growing and networking in Atlanta at the PRSA 2015 International Conference.

ic-web-banner-2015And, I trust they’re also strolling one of the thoroughfares named “peachtree” seeking a seat at one of Atlanta’s fine restaurants and drinking establishments.  Nice city, Atlanta.

But I’m here in Chicago.  So what to do to keep my finger on the pulse, so to say, of top-of-mind best practices, developments and issues facing public relations?

Simple: I’ll hold a very short poll and ask you, faithful readers of the PRDude blog, to share what’s pivotal to public relations in the future. I’d like to know what will drive strategies and influence tactics.

Here goes.

That’s it. Please take a moment to share your opinion.

And, if you’re at the PRSA 2015 Conference, there’s no question you’ll have some thoughts to share.