Three Thoughts on a Saturday Afternoon in December

By Edward M. Bury, APR, aka The PRDude

Three topics perked my interest recently, prompting me to spend part of this early December Saturday afternoon here, preparing to add more thoughts to the blogosphere.  In this quiet time before the dinner hour, I will offer insight on the economy, an international movement rooted in the First Amendment and public relations.  (I am the PR Dude after all.)

When I’m done, please feel free to offer replies to any or all. As Ed Schultz, host of the CNBC news show The Ed Show  says after his intro, “Let’s get to work.”

  1. Another Meaning Behind Latest Job News.  Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the national unemployment rate dipped to 8.6% from 9.0%.  The White House claimed a victory, and economists maintain this is a small — but positive — step forward for the economy and nation.  On the other side of the aisle, however, Republicans and conservatives clamored the numbers weren’t good enough.Long time followers of The PRDude may recall I launched this blog after my position of nearly 12 years was eliminated due to declining funds at the association where I worked. I was a statistic.  I was part of the “9.0%” or whatever the number was in September of 2009.  During my search for the great position I now hold, any positive news on the job front was welcomed. It gave me — and assuredly many others — that extra impetus to keep charging ahead.  I think this news is tremendous, and I hope all lawmakers in Washington will put partisan views aside on this issue.  Wonder what their perspectives would be like if they were part of the unemployment statistics?
  2. OWS Has Truly Gone Main Street.  Unconvinced about the validity, legitimacy, power, value or purpose of the Occupy Wall Street movement? Try this: Do a Google search of “OWS.”  The OWS website will lead the list of the estimated 37 million search engine results. I know a few things about search engine optimization, which has to do with something called algorithms.  (Hey, I’m a blogger who publishes this nice blog thanks to the folks here at Word Press; not a technician by any means.) That’s pretty impressive for a “movement” without any real central leader or major sources of funding. Regardless of your perspective on the Occupy (fill in the blank) developments here and abroad, it ain’t going away.  Personally, I’ve interacted frequently with those who are occupying my home city of Chicago. The “occupiers” hold court on LaSalle Street at Jackson Boulevard, right across from the Federal Reserve Bank.  (If you’ve seen the most recent Batman movie, you know the intersection.) Here are a few images:

The Occupy folks set up their own commissary. And, they keep the area litter free.

A variety of cylindrical objects are used as drums.

The Occupiers include the expected (Gen X-Y-Zers) and the unexpected (60-something ladies who reportedly bring homemade cookies daily.)

Hand made signs help deliver the message in this digital age.

3.  Dialogue! Public Relations Today Requires Dialogue!  Like many of those reading this, I’m a strong proponent of LinkedIn.  I check my profile regularly and enjoy keeping up to date on what my contacts are doing. Occasionally, I’ll post an item and send it to all contacts and selected groups.  That’s what happened yesterday after I read this piece that originally was published in the Media Daily News.

The article focuses on small PR firms getting bought by big ones; but this comment is what prompted me to broadcast the piece:  “Miles Nadal, CEO of MDC Parnters, said that PR is becoming increasingly vital to the marketing communications mix. While the discipline once focused on getting reporters to say good things about clients, today, he added:  ‘PR is about managing a dialogue — customers, businesses, and influencers discussing the merits of a product, the economics of a big company initiative, or why a company failed in some way, all on the same platform with equal voices.’”

Bravo Miles!  Yes, good readers:  Effective public relations today demands dialogue to help nurture the relationships that help reach established goals.  Mr. Nadal’s final thought — “same platform with equal voices” — is another way of saying “transparency” and “open communications,” aspects of public relations this proud APR lives by.

So, it’s dinner time. When you’re done with dinner — or whatever — let me know your feelings on these three thoughts from a Saturday evening in December.