My Year of Promoting Positive PR13 years, 11 months ago
In her final letter to the readers of Frontline, IPRA President 2009 Maria Gergova assesses her legacy in the role, ponders what she has learnt and highlights the importance of positive communication.
Everything indicates that most of us have gone through a very difficult year. However, there is probably a reason for that. We have probably become better and stronger. I will repeat the Bulgarian proverb I started the year with: "What does not kill us makes us stronger". I for one feel much stronger at the end of 2009, in comparison with the beginning of 2009. How about you?
In my capacity of IPRA President I have gone through many challenges, I learned a lot and I grew up a little bit more, both as a person and a PR expert. Because what IPRA has to offer – information, knowledge, benchmarking and contact with colleagues all over the world – makes you feel significant, feel that you are progressing and that you are a member of a special community.
I learned that we have to learn more as an international organization comprised of communication experts. I learned that we need to pay more attention and have more understanding of the fact that we are united by our common love of the PR profession, but we have some differences in terms of culture, language, level of development in the PR profession, etc. which might cause ambiguity, misunderstanding, and sometimes even tension.
But we are the ones working in the sphere of communication. Who else, if not the best PRs in the world, could deal with all of the communication barriers? Are we not the ones who know with whom, where and how to communicate in order to obtain the best result and the best communication?
Fighters and builders
I learned that some people are born to fight and some people are born to build. We need them both.
However, because fighting does not suit me, I decided to survey and build something with the hope that it will be useful to our colleagues all over the world. I know each and every one of us is right in his/her own way and has to follow his/her own truth.
I hope to leave behind a couple of things:
• An open door for those who do not speak English but want to learn and develop as PR experts – with the campaign to translate all IPRA content into Arabic. I hope this would be the first step and to be followed by the same for Spanish, Russian, etc. speaking experts.
• A more liberated awards ceremony for the best in the PR world – let it be real celebration and fun
• A possibility for a social network /online platform only and solely for IPRA members. It’s still at the design stage but I will do my best to finish it by the end of the year.
• An adequate update of the Code of Ethics, in accordance with the new digital environments
• A review of IPRA’s history and the changes and challenges the organization is facing
• An International PR Guide – This is presenting information about the PR profession and business in each country where IPRA has members. Again, this is still at the development stage, but you can check its current status athttp://www.ipra.org/detail.asp?articleid=1388 This project representx IPRA as truly international.
Other smaller and less significant things...
I learned that my faith in positive communication has its value. I intend to keep it and not succumb to the provocations around me.
Positive communication and positive behavior lead to positive results. My message to all of you would be: No matter what you want to accomplish and what you want to communicate, and who you want to convince about your truth – do it in a good and positive manner.
Use your tone and manner of communication to make the person you speak with grab your idea and feel s/he wants to travel your way. We are communicators, but we are and have to be diplomatic communicators, even if we have to go as far as the quotation about what a diplomat is that I will expropriate and paraphrase to fit diplomatic communication: The key of diplomatic communication is to tell someone to go to hell and make the person look forward to the trip. And there are so many people that are saying they want to take you to heaven but make you feel you are on the way to hell.
So, be a positive communicator!
Maria Gergova is IPRA President 2009 and managing director of United Partners, Bulgaria.mail the author
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