A human being

There was an interesting definition of PR made at the PRCA Council meeting this evening. We often struggle to explain what it is we do and how it benefits society, people and businesses.

I heard Kate Stevens talk about what it is and she used the phrase ‘PR is a human career’. It isn’t about policies, spreadsheets or legal frameworks. At its heart it has to be about people and their lives, their issues, their requirements.

It is something I have been talking about a lot in the last 12 months but even before that. One of the most enlightening pieces of work that I carried out was going out and listening to people and their issues at public meetings. As PR and comms professionals we have to understand people and that starts with listening and not talking. For those who want process this is about gaining insight and we don’t do it enough.

New products and services are launched, items are promoted and if there is no view from those affected then the actions will be hollow and lack substance.

Don’t get me wrong this isn’t as easy as it sounds. You have to invest time and money. You have to be open to hearing the feedback and acting upon it. You have to make sure you are open to all and not just the people you want to hear. But if you can gain that information and customer voice then you can develop from a firm foundation.

If PR is a human career then we need to include support to help people recognise and develop those skills. Being able to talk to anyone about anything should be something all communication professionals can do.

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