I knew it! PR isn’t about public relations – it’s about people.

Imagine that. In a world gone social media, people still reign supreme. (I don’t think the twentysomethings have heard…)

Great article in the April 2011 issue of Tactics, the PR Society of America’s publication. Susan Balcom Walton, associate chair of ¬†communication at Brigham Young U., wrote the following:

“A healthy dose of EQ better equips PR practitioners for our unique roles as counselors…when it comes to people, all communications exchanges are, to some extent, emotional ones…”

Sources in the story back her up:

“Emotional intelligence is essentially gravitas – steadiness of emotions.” George Jamison, communications head honcho at SpencerStuart.

“Communicating is inherently a relational activity – we need to have that awareness even more than other professionals.” Amanda Kowal Kenyon, senior VP at Ketchum Public Relations.

I’m skeptical of a lot that appears in print these days, but this piece hit me square between the eyes. Everything we do in public relations and marketing is build relationships. I’ve been saying it since I somehow got into this field. Where my journalism career was focused on telling the fascinating stories of how people find meaning, my public relations career is about putting your best face forward, and creating opportunities for introduction, and connection.

It’s all about truth, really – which is funny because PR gurus have the bad rap of appearing fake as the plastic toys in my kids’ play room. Many are, in fact. You can’t trust them as far as you can throw them.

But the good ones – the good folks in any field, really – depend on perpetuating truth, honesty and integrity. Any profession. Only the good ones.

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