Filled with emotion

During the past week I have been reflecting a lot on the summer, what happened and how I move forward. I was privileged to be asked to speak at the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) annual conference in London on Friday. It was another opportunity to take stock of things but also to check on with the wider communication and PR industry to make sure I was not operating in a bubble.

It was an amazing event with some eminent speakers from the communication industry and I felt a bit of a phoney on stage. After all I am only a girl from Wigan working in the public sector. 

One thing was clear through the morning talks and that was the importance of feelings and emotions. We can have all the plans, policies and procedures. We can have the most whizzy graphics and advertising slogans. They mean nothing if they don’t have heart. With employee engagement we know that it has to have an honesty and connection to the emotions to really hit home. The same has to be true in our external communication activity.

For many years I have tried to perfect the persona of someone without emotion who could dispassionately look at a situation and determine a course of action. To some extent I still do that but I am also becoming less afraid to show some emotion.

When I stood on stage in BAFTA no less, I had a moment when the emotion took hold of me. I was moved to tears once again when I relived the events of May 22. I was a little frustrated with myself but I hope no one saw it is weakness. After all it was only for a moment.

We are in turbulent times and what people need is honesty, authenticity and some emotions. When something has happened we have to remember the people who are caught up in it. The individual stories are what we must remember even if due to the scale of the issue the response cannot be tailored to every single person. 

I took some comfort from listening to the other speakers and feeling that professionally we try to focus on people every day. It isn’t easy and it can test your own resilience but there really is no other way forward. The world is made up of individuals and as communicators we have to remember people first. 

This entry was posted in communication, conferences, crisis communication, manchester, police, prca, work and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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