A Decade of The PRDude. Really

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

The question many — including myself — may ponder is this: Why continue to publish the PRDude blog, now in its tenth year?

After 10 years and 432 posts, I sometimes ask that question of myself.

A simple answer includes these components:

  • Because I can.
  • Because I enjoy it.
  • Because I still have something to say.

Want more? Here are some general thoughts.

If my day gets off to a rocky start, sometimes I revisit one of the more than 400 posts offered by the PRDude over the past 10 years.

What I’ve Learned: The public relations profession has evolved dramatically from a media relations-focused practice to one that incorporates integrated communications. The change was mostly driven by technology. That’s not a revolutionary observation, but one that should continue to remain at the forefront. That means there’s lots to comment on.

A Personal Perspective: I have remained steadfast and passionate about the value and practice of sound, ethical public practice.  That will never waiver. Publishing this blog provides a medium to defend instances where the profession is misrepresented, often equated with propaganda.

Favorite Posts: Don’t have kids, but we have cats. I love them both the same; and, I have the same perspective about the posts published here over the past decade. But this post from 2010 about my “alter ego” still resonates just a little more. More recently, I’ve enjoyed sharing thoughts on my pursuit of my Master’s degree in English.

What’s Needed:  I plan to (someday) finish adding categories to past posts.  And, I might consider changing the theme, or finding a way to monetize The PRDude blog. Hey, back in 2013 I made an offer to sell out! (I would still entertain reasonable offers.)

To conclude, I thank all who have read, commented and shared my thoughts these past 10 years. Stick around for the next 10.

A final thought: I had planned to publish this post yesterday, September 11, 2019.  We all know the significance of that date and what took place. Out of respect I held off.  But my thoughts on 9/11 can be found in this post from September 11, 2011 — 10 years after the terrorist attacks. I hope and pray I don’t have to write about those memories again.

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The PRDude Reaches Another Plateau: Post 400

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

This question has left me in a quandary the past several days: What should be the focus of this post — the 400th published here on the PRDude blog?

Perhaps a retrospective of my “favorite” post over the past (could it really be that long?) nine years? No, who really cares, and I think I’ve already written a post on that topic, somewhere back in the 200 or 300 post library.

Announce some new feature or improvement?  Well, I’ve started to categorize posts, but that job will take a little longer than anticipated.  But stay tuned.

Image courtesy of Geo G Wiki.

Or, maybe a list of the “best 400 moments” in the public relations profession? Of course, this is absurd and who determines what’s “best” in any subject or genre?  (Actually, I addressed this topic with a post way back in 2013.)

So, I’ll take the safe and easy road on this journey:

Appreciation. A sincere thank you to all who have read, commented and shared PRDude posts. Please continue to absorb my thoughts and perspectives, and please share this blog within your network.

Supporting Public Relations. And, a mention that next week I’ll join hundreds of public relations colleagues from across the nation in Austin, Texas at the Public Relations Society of America 2018 Assembly, which precedes the International Conference.

Regarding the latter, I’ll be representing PRSA Chicago, where I serve on the Board of Directors and chair the Accreditation Committee.

For those who follow the workings of PRSA, there’s been a rather “spirited” (emphasis intentional) debate underway related to existing PRSA Bylaws. This topic is on the agenda for the Assembly October 6.

I’ll reserve any thoughts or comments on the Bylaw proposals — which address ethics, a foundation of PRSA and public relations — until I return from the Assembly.

But speaking of ethics, earlier this month I published an article through my LinkedIn account:Leadership in Defending Misrepresentation of ‘Public Relations.'” The premise of my article centers on the need for members of PRSA, especially those who hold the Accredited in Public Relations credential, to address instances where the profession is misrepresented — often equated with propaganda.

Why?  Because the Advocacy component of the PRSA Code of Ethics requires members to be “responsible advocates for those we represent.” I interpret that provision as being at the vanguard for correcting erroneous references to “public relations.”

Thanks again, and watch for post #401 soon.

If It’s “Fake” It’s Not “News”

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

Let’s start with this assertion: The concept of erroneous or inaccurate information shared for public consumption — most recently given the title “fake news” — has been around for a long, long time.

We can expect the "fake news" invasion to continue for a long, long time. Image source: Snopes.

We can expect the “fake news” invasion to continue for a long, long time. Image source: Snopes.com.

Possibly as long as human beings began communicating. That’s because so-called “fake news” also can be construed as “telling a lie,” and there’s no question men and women have told lies for a long, long time.

Only, in this era of instantaneous digital communications that can originate from virtually anyone or any organization with a broadband connection, fabricated messages void of truth can prove very harmful for society. At least society as we know it today.

Come on! Did you really believe that Pope Francis threw his support toward Donald Trump? Photo courtesy of GazetteReview.com.

Come on! Did you really believe that Pope Francis threw his support toward Donald Trump? Image source:  GazetteReview.com.

This was made especially clear in the months leading to the 2016 national elections, when seemingly bizarre stories — Pope Francis throwing support to Donald Trump — surfaced, were propagated and believed by many.  One can ascertain that more “news” of this type will surface in the future.

So, in the debut post of 2017, the PRDude offers this manifesto of sorts to members of the media, fellow public relations professionals and anyone who will listen:

Stop referring to lies, misinformation, fabricated facts and erroneous online content and messages as “fake news.”

As I, and assuredly millions of others maintain, what makes “news” and defines newsworthiness  is based on factual occurrences, trends or developments that meet certain criteria, including:  What took place, where it took place, who or what was involved and what was compelling or interesting.

If a report is based upon “fake” information, it is not “news.”

There. I feel better. And, that’s the truth.

 

Making a Point This Father’s Day

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

Perhaps overshadowed by Mother’s Day and other non-religious holidays, Father’s Day is an opportunity to honor the men who brought us into this world. And, by that I mean sharing something beyond a tie or polo shirt.

The USS Proteus has been de-comissioned.

The USS Proteus has been de-comissioned.

Over the five-plus years I’ve hosted the PRDude Blog, I don’t believe I’ve referenced my father, Ted Bury.

So here goes.

My father was an outstanding man who worked very, very hard to provide for his family. About the most poignant thing I can remember from my Dad was his work ethic, and the fact he could make things right that were wrong.

And, Ted Bury knew how to make things that last.

To illustrate this point, please note the image below. This is a knife, okay, a sword of sorts, my Dad made when he was in the U.S. Navy during World War II and served on the USS Proteus, a “sub-tender” ship that made parts or supplied submarines.

(Trivia: My Dad served with two guys who went on to fame in Hollywood: Bernie Schwartz, aka screen star Tony Curtis, and Larry Storch, a comic actor best known for playing Corporal Agarn on a 1960s TV show called “F Troop.” Pretty good company, and probably never a dull moment.)

Note to bad guys: If  you enter our home, you might have to face this. Get the point? I mean "points."

Note to bad guys: If you enter our home, you might have to face this. Get the point? I mean “points.”

There’s nothing like this in the world today. It was made by a man from a generation that made things that lasted.  Each of my two brothers and I have one similar to this knife, which has my Dad’s name and “U.S. Navy” on one side and serial number on the other side of the handle.

If your Dad is still with you, ask him to share some thoughts about what shaped him into the man he became. Tell him you love him, something I wish I had done.

To all Dads who read this, Happy Father’s Day. Hope I made my point.

 

Six Months Later: Reached My Goal, Bring On More

By Edward M. Bury, APR, aka The PR Dude

Monday of this week, April 18, was significant in one particular way for me.

April 18 was the day income taxes were due to be filed.  (Mine were filed in early March.)  It also was the start of Holy Week. (I grew up Catholic but don’t practice much.)  And, Passover started Monday at sundown.  (See previous statement.)

Give up?  Monday marked my sixth month in my great new position leading marketing and communications for a Chicago real estate association.

The big questions — “Is the job what you expected?” and “Are you enjoying the work, environment and colleagues?” — are certainly valid.  And, for the record, the answers are “yes” and “yes.”

From another perspective, I envision my success in this phase of my career as the culmination of a goal I set way back in the fall of 2009.  That’s when my previous job was eliminated and I had to throw myself into a serious search for a position that met my skills and salary requirements, and allowed me to grow as a professional and continue to work as a communicator.

Loyal readers know that the PRDude blog was driven by my desire to chronicle my search while commenting on public relations issues and topics.  I hope I’ve shared some insight that will help others in the same position.

Posts from the past have addressed:

And, lots of other stuff.

Today, six months after I realize my goal, I remain grateful for having an opportunity to work in a profession that’s stimulating, evolving and full of new challenges.   In the next six months, more challenges — both at work and through my volunteer duties promoting the Accreditation in Public Relations — will cross my desk.

I welcome them wholeheartedly.