Everything we know about public relations we learned first from our mothers. Allow me to use PR’s R-A-C-E (research, action, communication, evaluation) method to illustrate:
It was our moms who first applied the rule that living life–just as in PR–must begin with research. It was suggested by moms that we needed to find out what our teacher likes before we drew her a picture for her birthday. Prior to putting our lips to the spoon, we were instructed to first make sure the oatmeal (in my case, Maypo) wasn’t too hot. Moms made it their business to find out who birthed the kids we hung out with, where the “better” school districts were, and which model station wagon/minivan/SUV would best accommodate their growing families.
If the next step in a PR plan is action, then it was our moms who first suggested that we invite the new kid over to play. They directed us to clean up our rooms before company came. They made sure we left milk and cookies out for Santa so we could show our thanks for the presents.
Then comes communication. Moms were the people primarily responsible for teaching us how to talk and write. They helped us with our school reports and drilled us on how to politely answer a phone. Teaching us manners–a key component of personal PR–primarily fell to her. When a “crisis” occurred, moms often became our spokespeople, visiting bullys’ moms or unfair teachers to plead our cases.
Finally, we were always expected to evaluate our actions, good and bad. “How’d you do on your test?” moms would ask. “Will you be seeing her (or him) again?” And when we succumbed to peer pressure and did something stupid, we heard, “If Johnny jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, too?”
Yes, it was our moms and our dads and our teachers and all the older people around us who gave us the early PR tools we’d need throughout our lives. Thanks, Mom, and Happy Mother’s Day! Your thoughts?