This isn’t a textbook post that if you work in the industry, have read in newsletters this month about how PR will change in 2019. I don’t know how it will change. I know what will remain though. The public and media want to know one thing from you: the truth. A most tired cliche remains true to form — a coverup is always worse than the crime. I’ll add that if the “crime” is so bad that it continues to grab headlines, you’re in troubbbbblllle. Start to rebuild your brand now.
Storytelling, while rolled out as something new by some in PR during the past year, is really the basis of public relations. What’s your story and why should others care? 📚
No year-in-review — I thought about doing a publicity year-in-review, but the final quarter of 2018 was exhausting; or maybe it was the time leading up to it. People in lofty roles said, tweeted and did things that were so against what many of us want to see from humanity, that I took a break from writing. Not all PR is good PR and I certainly spent enough time writing about the bad. From coaches and administrators who made excuses about serious issues under their leadership, to outside of sports … well, I’ll spare you because it’s not worth rehashing. Instead, I hope you can look forward to bright days literally and figuratively. A new year, a new slate.
I beg that if you found yourself feeling down about news of the day like I did at times this year, that you take more media breaks. We can’t ignore the news, but we can look for and share more of the good. Take it upon yourself to be the best you, you can be. Pledge to do nice things for people. They don’t have to be huge gestures. Even a sincere smile or brief compliment counts and may mean so much to someone. Say “please” and “thank you.” Appreciate and embrace people’s differences. And maybe above everything, listen to people. We know you have things to say and want to be heard (and we publicists certainly want to be heard!), but we benefit from opening our ears and hearing about other peoples’ experiences to learn why they feel the way they do. Have a civilized conversation. It could well help the way you tell your story.
To the clients with whom I’ve been fortunate to partner, thank you for being a teammate. Thank you for entrusting me with your brand. Telling your stories is what makes a day worthwhile.
Thank you to media with whom I speak each day. I’ve “met” several new reporters and editors these last months when I pitched topics that weren’t in my wheelhouse. Thank you for reading my emails and listening to story ideas and helping me to understand different ways industries are covered. Rest assured that no matter the topic, I will never present a story unless I believe that it will entertain or inform your readers and viewers.
Hopes — I have a lot of hope for the coming year. I hope the Green Bay Packers hire a winning coach that can restore the football pride that the storied franchise is known for. I hope fans of opposing teams can tailgate together, scream for their teams and hug it out after a game. I hope the United States and other areas of the world can mend fences and realize we are better when we support one another. I hope we are better neighbors in our communities and beyond. I hope we can speak nicely to each other on social media. I hope the new year brings you good health, happiness, lots of love and appreciation.
Happy 2019, friends.