A Guest Post By Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA
I’ve been feeling a little reflective for all kinds of good…and not-so-good…reasons. Don’t want to dwell on the “not-so’s” today…weather’s too nice and the semester’s winding down…so I’ll get right to the good stuff.
I got the go-ahead from one of my PR superstars at Curry College, where I oversee the undergraduate public relations concentration and teach most of the PR courses, to formally announce that, one week after she walks across the stage and gets her diploma from the president, she will start her new full-time position as Special Events Coordinator for the ALS Association/Massachusetts Chapter.
She’s walking out of Curry with three very successful internships under her belt, the distinction of having been the first Curry College Communication student to have received the PRSA Boston Educational Grant, and the confidence that, regardless of the challenges that she might face in the course of her career, she has the willpower and stamina to face and to overcome whatever life throws her way.
Obviously this sequence of events got me thinking about any of us who have “adopted” the public relations profession as our career path and the challenges and opportunities that cross our paths.
Life simply isn’t a neatly-arranged sequence of events that wander our way and patiently wait for us to figure out how to meet them successfully.
Some things we deal with quickly and efficiently. Others, we have to regroup and strategize ways in which to address them.
Edward L. Bernays had this to say about the public relations profession: “…public relations does not mean selling a product, an idea, or a personality. Instead, it depends fundamentally on doing – action and deeds that are geared to public understanding and acceptance. Words are only incidental to the process.”
Our profession is not a clearly and cleanly defined “job.” Ours is a glorious amalgam of positive as well as negative opportunities and challenges that we have to identify, prioritize, and address. And, as many of us have learned (often the hard way), rarely are two situations the same, which means rarely are the solutions the same.
But we do solve or resolve them. And we then are able to reflect on the professionalism with which we achieved that success and find satisfaction in the warm glow that comes with pride of accomplishment.
Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, is Associate Professor of Communication (Undergraduate) at Curry College in Milton, MA. He also is Visiting Lecturer, Organizational and Professional Communication (Graduate), at Regis College in Weston, MA. Prior to his move into academia, Kirk practiced nonprofit and government public relations and marketing for more than 35 years in the US as well as Asia. Accredited by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Kirk is a former member of PRSA’s national Board of Directors and has held leadership positions with PRSA Educators Academy and PRSA Northeast District as well as with the Boston and Hawaii PRSA chapters.