Public Relations: Pride, Passion and Professionalism


A Guest Post By Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA

I write a lot about finding that special job that gets you really excited and eager to get to work every day. A lot of us have been lucky enough to have done that; others not so much.

Public relations…hate to say it like this…is a “job.” You do stuff; things happen; you get a paycheck for having made it come to pass.

But, from my point of view at this stage in my multi-layered career, there is a difference that draws us to the field and keeps us in its welcoming arms.

We, as public relations professionals, are trained and empowered to help clients or employers reach a level of understanding with their stakeholders…their target audiences…that can pave the way for better relationships, better cooperation, and better success.

When you take all that into consideration, there is a lot to be proud of.

  • We help companies succeed in their business activities.
  • We help service providers…nonprofit, healthcare, educational, and others…communicate their value and maximize their effectiveness.
  • We help disparate publics gain an appreciation for the many opportunities available to them in their communities and elsewhere.

And those of us who approach these challenges with a passion fueled by an desire to do the best we possibly can for our client or employer benefit as well…from the good feeling that comes from knowing what we have accomplished.

  • As Communications Director for the Blood Bank of Hawaii, I took great pride both in helping eligible residents of our communities understand the importance of volunteer blood donation and in helping insure that there would be a ready blood supply for those who needed it.
  • Today, as a Communication Professor at Curry College introducing the next generation(s) of public relations professionals to the profession that has consumed more than a quarter-century of my adult life, I take enormous pride in following the budding careers of those students who have demonstrated to me that they both understand and want to be part of that calling.

Finally, we work diligently to ensure that everything we do, we do to the best of our ability. As communications professionals, our commitment to our client or employer says that we will leave no stone unturned, no avenue unexplored, no consideration overlooked as we create and implement public relations programs designed to foster greater understanding and support.

I’m not implying that other professions don’t embody some or all of these attributes. But I would argue that ours is one in which all three are part and parcel of its…and our…reason for being.

  • We represent our clients or employers because we believe in the good that they embody.
  • We commit to providing them the highest quality advice, counsel, and service.
  • We wear our professionalism with a pride born of the knowledge that what we have done, are doing, and will do makes a difference.

Public relations may be a “job,” but it is a job through which individuals and institutions are able to connect with those who are important to their well-being and success. So let’s take pride in our efforts on behalf of clients or employers, approach our daily challenges with a passion that tells others we believe in what we are doing, and conduct our day-to-day activities with a level of excellence that shouts to the world, I am a public relations professional”!

Hazlett_KirkKirk 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.