Who Cares About the “Best” When “Just Okay” is Good Enough

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


Please! I’m not trying to be this guy.

Yes, it’s the holiday season and everything is supposed to be sweetness and light, unless of course you’re trying to find parking at a busy shopping mall.  So, I’ll be brief with these thoughts and try not to sound too much like Mr. Scrooge or The Grinch.

The days around Christmas and New Year’s are a truly wonderful time of the year, but they happen at the end of the year.  That means everyone from pundits to critics to reviewers to — yes, some bloggers — are compelled or ordered to draft their “Best of (fill in the blank)” report.  In most cases, it’s the 10 “best” selections.


Mr. Bartok — you’re okay in my book.

Of course, being rated “best” in most of these instances is purely subjective, especially when rating artistic endeavors.  The late European classical composer Bela Bartok offered this often-quoted perspective on judging art and those who make it:

“Competition is for horses, not artists.”

Bravo, Mr. Bartok!  Although I am not familiar with your work, I love your perspective.

That’s why I’m proposing to all pundits, critics, reviewers and bloggers to dispense with future “best” lists.  To paraphrase Mr. Bartok, the “best” horse is the one that wins a race; there’s no other clear cut way to judge that kind of competition.


Stop: Change this to “Just Okay” now.

Rather than offer your “best,” why don’t we start to categorize people, places, art, events and other stuff in a more encompassing, relaxed category, one that’s not so high and mighty: Just Okay.  Furthermore, ignore the nice round number of 10 and use another.  What’s wrong with identifying eight or 12 things that are just okay?  Or four?

I’d list a number of just okay public relations programs or practitioners for 2013, but none come to mind.  Full disclosure:  I don’t even subscribe to any of industry weekly publications anymore, so I’m somewhat removed from the best, I mean, “just okay,” PR programs or people.

And, you know: I’m okay with that.