By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
By now, friend of The PRDude, you probably have read 10 or more “Top 10” lists. These appear regularly online and in print and broadcast communications, but they’re especially prevalent now — as we count down the days and hours of another year.
Rest assured, you won’t read any “Top 10” or “Top (fill in the blank)” list in this space today. (You can get a way-cool summary and analysis of traffic from this blog courtesy of the way-cool people from WordPress.) What I plan to do is to just offer some thoughts on public relations and “other stuff,” as keeping with the tag line and theme of this blog. You might get 10, but probably less because I want to finish soon. Full disclosure: I’m writing this late Monday morning and looking forward to a nap so I can stay up to midnight.
Let’s Put a “-30-” to Top 10 Lists. Those of us how came out of the journalism business know that it was traditional to type “-30-” to denote the end of a story. Why don’t we put a “-30-” to the preponderance of year-end lists, especially Top 10 lists. Why not Top 9 or Top 11? . Seriously, it’s kind of a communications cop out, often predictable and generally just takes up space. Why not just follow topics of interest year-round?
Let’s Put More Focus on Defining “Public Relations” in the 21st Century. Earlier this year, the Public Relations Society of America unveiled a new definition for “public relations.” The good folks at PRSA employed a modern communications tactic — crowdsourcing — and combined it with good old-fashioned research. I participated in the effort, and I was thrilled that the new definition included the phrase “strategic communications process.” It’s strategy that separates true practitioners from the hucksters and incompetents. But I think the definition needs to be augmented with references to the traditional (like media relations) and the always evolving (like social media) forms of communication. The next Pinterest will change PR strategies and tactics for many of us.
Let’s Cease with Snarky-Themed PR/Communications Blogs. We’ve all read them, and many of us — The PRDude included — have contributed to posts or forums that have little to do but give the opportunity to share some mean-spirited thought under the guise of humor or adding to the general conversation. Do we really benefit from your opinion or my opinion on what “buzzwords” to eliminate from our daily communications? If I want to “think outside of the box” or “throw someone under the bus,” I will. But please stop using “non uncommon” because “common” works better!
I could go on, but that’s it for now. If I could provide a summary to the above, and hopefully to all my commentary here, it’s this: Those of us who define ourselves as “public relations professionals” should adhere to high ethical standards, only communicate messages that offer some contribution to the public well-being, steadfastly practice open disclosure and continue to explore and promote new and more effective ways to communicate. Want more? Read my October post on this subject.
The word count has just gone north of 500, so it’s time to call it a day and a year. Thanks again to all who digest my thoughts. What topics/issues should The PRDude address in 2013?