Happiness Lessons for PR People

by Scott Baradell | PR and Pop Culture

Happiness Lessons for PR People

We saw this story on “happiness lessons” being offered to schoolchildren in the U.K. and thought it was a pretty good idea. We all need lessons in happiness from time to time.

Even PR people. So here are eight lessons in how to be happy as a PR person, courtesy of Media Orchard:

1. Always tell the truth — especially to yourself. That doesn’t mean you can’t represent a client that holds an opinion different from yours; it just means that you must present it as the client’s viewpoint, not your own. Too many PR practitioners cross this line without thinking about it.

2. Don’t work for companies or clients whose products or lobbying stances you detest. For example, we won’t work for a tobacco company, or a company that makes firearms, or any oil company that commissions pseudo-scientific studies to muddle the global warming issue. It’s not worth the ulcer to us.

3. Don’t overpromise. It’s worth investing the time with prospective clients to make sure they have reasonable expectations, rather than promising them the moon to get them to sign a contract. You’ll only disappoint them, and yourself, later.

4. Believe in what you do. We love helping clients define themselves for their customers, investors, the media and others. So many companies have great ideas and great people; they just don’t know how to get the word out effectively in a market full of noise. When we help a client do that, we feel like Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady. If you don’t get a similar feeling, you may be at the wrong agency — or in the wrong profession.

5. Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you wanted to take your job that seriously, you should have become a journalist.

6. Stand up for what you know. When people of like abilities compete for the same goal, it is usually the confident one — not the “lucky” one — who succeeds.

7. Learn what you don’t know. Opening your mind to the ideas of others isn’t an indication of weakness; it is a sign of intellectual growth. Listening is learning.

8. Don’t talk badly about other people. It’s a quick-fix way to feel better about yourself; the more lasting way is through your own hard work. When you find yourself going ad hominem, think of your mind as being equipped with a pop-up blocker — and flick those negative thoughts away.

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6 thoughts on “Happiness Lessons for PR People

  1. Deb S.

    We PR people can always use reminders. I’ll post these near my computer – to review on those days when I think it’s time to abandon the PR/news business in favor of a career in retail. 🙂

    And the concept of “happiness lessons” for students? Sweet and very appropriate.

  2. Kirk

    Good list, Scott.

    Another one I would add is, “Remember that there IS such a thing as karma. Eventually, those who act so deplorably will be called to account for their actions. That includes ‘us.'”

  3. SB

    Instant Karma’s gonna get you,
    Gonna knock you off your feet,
    Better recognize your brothers,
    Ev’ryone you meet,
    Why in the world are we here,
    Surely not to live in pain and fear,
    Why on earth are you there,
    When you’re ev’rywhere,
    Come and get your share.

  4. Make the logo bigger

    No. 8 seems like it would be difficult in the world of PR, given that there are times when it seems like you may need to set the record straight, especially in a public forum.

    This may have to include some comments that might come across as negative on your part. (Meaning the collective ‘you’ for those who are responsible for the damage control.)

    Tough to avoid mudslinging even though ultimately it shows more class to do so.