World PR Day: The P in PR Stands for People
It’s World PR Day today! Public relations practitioners and PR associations from across the globe are coming together to celebrate the first-ever World Public Relations Day. The July 16 date was inspired by American PR expert Ivy Ledbetter Lee who was born on the same day (July 16, 1877) and is regarded as one of the forefathers of modern public relations.
The special day is set aside to appreciate the profession and its impact on the world; and I couldn’t be any prouder to be a part of this group myself, being able to do what I love and love what I do.
If anything, 2020 showed us the true role that PR and communications play in building and sustaining brands, businesses and civilization in general. Whilst the entire world was locked down, figuring out next moves, PR practitioners and agencies of all sizes were strategizing and helping businesses and leaders from all walks of life including presidents, to communicate with their internal and external stakeholders.
As the world experienced disruption of unprecedented proportions, a deciding factor in whether a business or leader sank or swam during the thick of the covid-19 outbreak, depended on the PR and communication strategies deployed or lack thereof. I dare say that a major contribution to Donald Trump losing his second term bid in the 2020 US presidential elections was because of his ineffective PR and communication tactics, especially at the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic.
Although we cannot equate the significance, it is not out of place to say that just like our heroic frontline workers, PR has carried the business world on its back from February 2020 till now. From helping leaders to decide the best ways to pass out information, to putting out many raging fires, promoting new concepts including vaccine acceptance, activating one reputation management plan to the other and so much more, public relations practitioners stepped up at a time when it was needed and played a huge role in shaping the perception of the world during one of the most challenging times of our human existence.