"A great PuRifier"

      68 Comments on "A great PuRifier"

As I prepared for a presentation at next week’s New York State Communication Association conference, I discovered and was thrilled by a quote about PR from Bill Gates, the nation’s wealthiest person. “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations,” Microsoft’s founder said. It seems he knows the value of good PR.

Others apparently do (and did), too. I found many wise quotes from famous folks pertaining to public relations and I thought it would be enlightening to sample a few here:

Charles Evans Hughes

Charles Evans Hughes

“Publicity is a great purifier because it sets in action the forces of public opinion, and in this country public opinion controls the courses of the nation.” (Charles Evans Hughes; former governor of New York State, U.S. Secretary of State, and Supreme Court Chief Justice)

“The history of PR is…a history of a battle for what is reality and how people will see and understand reality.” (Stuart Ewen, author and historian)

“PR is Performance Recognition.” (Douglas Smith, formerly of the Department of Homeland Security)

“PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.” (Ronn Torossian, founder, 5WPR)

“Without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.”  (Benjamin Disraeli, 19th century prime minister, United Kingdom)

“Public relations are a key component of any operation in this day of instant communications and rightly inquisitive citizens.” (Alvin Adams, 19th century founder, American Express)

“Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” (Richard Branson, founder, Virgin Group)

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” (Rudyard Kipling; 19th century writer)

“Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” (Bill Bernbach, founder, DDB)

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” (Warren Buffet, chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway)

Although professionals often struggle to define PR, these famous folks have/had accurate perceptions of its power to persuade and inform. Which of these quotes resonate with you? Your thoughts?

68 thoughts on “"A great PuRifier"

  1. premierorion

    I have heard the quote “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on Public Relations” many times before, but I never fully understood why. Now after taking PR 100 and getting a better grasp on how important public relations truly is. A successful PR team to can lead to a successful organization. Without public relations a person or organization can cause themselves to crumble.

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  2. Bianca Kroening

    I really liked Richard Branson’s quote, about PR being more effective than good advertising, because it’s true! If given the choice between seeing two movies, one that was just cleverly advertised on TV, or one that your trustworthy friend raved about, which would you pick?

    PR is key!

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  3. Jenna Morace

    I think that he makes a great point in describing the importance of Public Relations. one specific quote that i enjoyed was “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.” I liked this one because it shows all of the different categories that PR effects that my not immediately come to mind when people thing about Public Relations in general.

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  4. lourdesjc

    Two quotes really stuck on to me. The first by Ronn Torrosian, PR always practices a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering regardless of the field or client you’re dealing with. One has to be professional in communicating and building good relations with management, press, and audiences while giving your client a good name of course without lying. The other by Bill Bernbach, it’s more important prove your goodwill with actions instead of claiming it on paper as in advertisements found in newspapers. Actions speak more than words.

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  5. Lysa Carre

    “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” (Warren Buffet, chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway)

    This quote stood out the most for me since I find it to be so true and accurate in the society we live in. Although the media and American public can be forgiving when an iconic figure makes a mistake, the challenge in gaining forgiveness can nonetheless, be a difficult journey. There are many people in public spotlight who are forced to live with intense pressure to walk a straight path and not get sidetracked making any mistakes. For example, if you are the First Lady of the United States, chances are you will be pressured to act as lady-like as possible and responsible for being a positive role model to people world-wide. Often times, people’s downfalls are originated from commentary on controversial issues. If one says the wrong thing at any given time, they can be judged so harshly for it to the extent of their image being ruined. Therefore, all the good one has done or built themselves to be can be destroyed, and become irrelevant within a blink of an eye. That is why it is so crucial to maintain a positive image at all times, and often not get involved or make rash decisions, until one can accurately observe where the public stands, and how such matters can potentially affect their own character. Someone once told me “you’re a walking billboard of your characteristics” which I always found to be food for thought.

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  6. jennsmulo

    The two quotes that resonated the most with me were: “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” (Rudyard Kipling; 19th century writer) and “Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” (Bill Bernbach, founder, DDB). Words are important and can be both beautiful or manipulative. I’ve often found myself forgetting so many advertisements, and remembering simple things companies have done that just happened to stick with me. I can’t tell you anything about BP, but I know they spilled oil and killed so many animals.

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  7. kgorsky1

    Of all these quotations, the one that resonates the most with me is “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.” This quotation really exemplifies all the reasons why I chose public relations as a major in the first place. It shows how versatile, creative, and aware one must be in order to succeed in this field, and how challenging and exciting this career path really is.

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  8. Casey Lamkin

    Easy. Ronn Torossian’s, “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.” It’s INTERESTING, and it’s a little bit of everything. This is why I study PR. We need it and it needs us. I enjoy studying this area of communication, because I don’t think words define Public Relations, I think actions do. PR has such a positive impact on society, we’d be lost without it. Those who belong in PR should feel that sort of passion and connection with the work. I know I do!

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  9. Dale Ciampa

    In regards to this post I came across this quote “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. ”
    ― George Orwell
    This quote has a must more negative tone towards public relations. George Orwell wrote the book 1984… Which can be related to pr. I think the study of pr does have a bad reputation as well to other writers. Maybe a lot of authors are critical of pr based off of any negativiety rexeived from the public.

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  10. Mallory Marin

    The quote from Warren Buffet, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it” resonated with me because of its truthfulness. It may take forever for someone to get in the spotlight, but as soon as something goes sour, an ever-lasting negative public opinion can ruin a reputation… forever. This quote reminded me of Jared, the famous Subway representative. He worked strenuously to lose all of that weight, and becoming the face of Subway was an accomplishment that could be unmatched for the rest of his life. After climbing up and receiving all of the fame and maintaining a clean reputation for 15 years, recent news leaked his obsession with child pornography and his sexual relations with a minor. Within that five minutes of reveal, Subway and Jared lost credibility for being a healthy, friendly, and safe company. Despite desperate efforts to reposition the brand, Subway’s sales dropped by 3% and fell down two rankings for America’s Top Fast Food Restaurants. When rising through the ranks, it is essential to keep your reputation clean, because just a wrong name pronunciation like “Adele Dazeem” (Thanks for that, John Travolta) can carry with you for life.

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  11. Maddi Roman

    “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

    Recently, a Junior in highschool from my small town of Clinton, CT found herself in quite he predicament. One of her friends took her phone and tweeted something obscene and racially offensive. He did it jokingly and thought she would delete it, but she had no idea. She turned her phone off and went to practice. This girl has a great reputation as a clean cut athlete who is involved in town. Once she turned her phone back on after her two hour practice she had 100’s of thousands of retweets and replies. All of them were hateful and threatening. She had offended a whole community. People began tweeting her address and the address of our small highschool. This young and innocent girl is now viewed as a prejudice monster and her safety is being threatened, all because of a simple offensive but meaningless tweet. She had to delete all of her social media and the principal called a school wide assembly after receiving many threatening emails. It’s a crazy story; I know.

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  12. jzagorski22

    “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” (Warren Buffet, chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway)

    This quote stood out and pertains to me the most of all.

    I have been a dancer all my life and have been lucky enough to be in the professional field for 3 years and counting. The first professional dance team I had ever made was fairly new to the Ultimate Cheerleading organization so building a good reputation was crucial. As soon as I made this team, I was 18 at the time, I went back on all of my social media (Twitter and Facebook were most popular then,) and rid of all the “innapropriate” content I had ever posted. I wasn’t a raunchy poster ever but unnecessary cussing here and there, or just things that did not need to be posted for the public to see were speratically posted by my accounts, or the immature 15-17yr old me. I thought I had deleted everything and I was good to go, this is back in 2012. Within a week of me being on the team I got a call from my coach about something I had tweeted in 2009, I was 14 at the time. She had explained to me that not only am I now a professional dancer, but I am also a role model, an icon, and an ambassador for the organization. I ended up deleting my Twitter account and creating a new, more professional one.

    Your reputation is EVERYTHING in this world, especially if you are trying to be somebody. I preach to the kids I teach at my studio not to post anything their parents wouldn’t approve of. You get so easily caught up when you are young and immature in tweeting pointless and useless information that will only hurt you, years from then!

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  13. dannynikander

    Definitely agree with this and the importance of public relations. PR is everything if you think about it. You cannot start a company, sell a product, or even gain followers on social media without of some sort of public relations. I think the PR profession has gone through a lot of change and has really utilized changes in technology. The quotes were very interesting and I will remember them! My favorite was “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

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  14. Emily Green

    The quote that stood out to me the most was “Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” (Bill Bernbach, founder, DDB). As a PR person, it is vital to represent your client or company in the best light possible, while consistently being honest. You can produce countless ads that will catch the audience’s attention, but none of that matters if you don’t make a good impression through PR.

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  15. Erin Schmitt

    It is very encouraging to hear these quotes about public relations, especially coming from such impressively successful people. Their positive outlook on the need for PR is a great source of inspiration for those going into the field, myself included. I really love Bill Gates’ quote of, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” If the wealthiest man in America thinks this highly of PR, it is an incredible reflection of how important it is in today’s world.
    I also really like the quote for Ronn Torossian, saying, “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.” This statement reflects how PR is a necessity as the industry encompasses aspects from many different fields and is constantly expanding.
    Warren Buffett’s statement that, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” is extremely relevant in today’s society with the spread of social media. Everything released to the public, which largely includes content posted on social media, needs to be thoughtfully produced and monitored. One error can be immediately seen and spread in the public eye and can completely tarnish an image.

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  16. jhlabella

    I really enjoyed this post! The one quote that stuck with me was, “Without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.” I feel that public relations keeps the nation relevant and ever changing. This quote says exactly that. I also enjoyed Bill Gates quote, it is inspiring to have such a successful man say that about PR.

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  17. Liz Steinberg

    I am not a PR person, so reading these quotes give me a good understanding of what professionals in the field believe about their profession. I think a lot of people look at PR guys as mass-manipulators in a way. If they want to, they can twist stories in the name of their clients. Now that I am taking a PR course, I know that’s not the goal of honest PR people. They stand for their client, but also for the truth.

    That being said, the quote that registers with me the most is “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” (Rudyard Kipling; 19th century writer). I believe this is so true. It’s just like the cliche, “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Words have power. The way we speak affects others. Whether that’s in a positive or negative way can determine the outcome of any situation. That definitely puts a lot of pressure on someone, especially a PR guy.

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  18. cdano1

    The quote that stood out to me the most was, “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.” I love how PR really is a combination of multiple areas and multiple talents. You really have to have a full and diverse education to strive in public relations.

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  19. Sabrina O'Neil

    The diversity of these statements and the diversity of the people making these statements proves how diverse PR is as a career. Also, the importance of many of these people speaking about PR proves how essential it is in this world. Which links to what Benjamin Disraeli stated, “without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.”

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  20. Nicole Garcia

    Kipling’s wise words, “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind” resonated with me most. These words accurately describe the significance of words and their transformative potential. Similarly, the same can be said with PR as the strategic use of language can lead to a desired public sentiment.

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  21. alexivelasquez

    The quote that resonated me the most was “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.” because it perfectly captures how diverse PR is, and how good PR is necessary in any industry. PR is really a mix of skills from various fields, which is extremely useful when adapting to any situation. This is what makes this career thrive.

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  22. Kylie Todd

    These are some very interesting quotes here. In particular, I like that one by Charles Evans Hughes where he compares public relations to a purifier. In addition to what he mentioned, PR acts as a purifier to a person’s/organizations reputation. All (or we should hope all) public figures and companies try to achieve a clean public image, in which public relations has a big hand in maintaining.

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  23. audrathorsen

    I think every one of these quotes are very unique and each look at PR in a different light. The quotes allowed me to see the different sides of PR and the obstacles that come with it. The quote that resonates with me the most is, “Publicity is a great purifier because it sets in action the forces of public opinion, and in this country public opinion controls the courses of the nation.” (Charles Evans Hughes; former governor of New York State, U.S. Secretary of State, and Supreme Court Chief Justice). This one stuck out to me the most because public opinion is everything. Public opinion is why PR exists. Charles Evans Hughes is correct when he states that public opinion controls the courses of the nation. Without public opinion there would be no direction to take for anything.

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  24. Cass Lang

    I think these quotes perfectly sum up how difficult and important PR is as a profession. The quote, “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape,” resonates with me most because it’s the reason I am so intrigued by PR. In this field, there is always a new challenge, a new client or a new crisis and no two days are exactly the same.

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  25. syanok

    My favorite quote from this list is “Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” (Bill Bernbach, founder, DDB).
    This one in particular really resonates with me because many people and business owners put so much importance on the amount of ads they have running at one time and how much exposure they are generating for themselves. It is more important to think about the content itself, and whether or not your messages are reaching the intended audience(s). How does the information and/or advertisement itself make the audience feel, and does it cause them to take action?

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  26. A. Murphy

    Without public support, any organization, company, or public figure just flounders in the murky waters between “making it” and “tanking.” It is nice to see that others throughout time have seen not only the value of public relations but the value of public opinion. At the end of the day, it is not always the facts that can make or break the situation but what the public feels and thinks. While I’m sure that organizations struggle to find their way through the changing public opinion landscape, it makes me happy that there are people and organizations working to decipher it and learn to work with it and not against it.

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  27. kassaramcelroy

    “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” (Rudyard Kipling; 19th century writer) This quote resonates with me as a public relations major since words are the basis of what we do. Words can influence perception which makes them one of the most powerful tools for the field public relations.

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  28. Forrest Gitlin

    Warren Buffet’s quote, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Perfectly highlights how important it is to always present the best of one’s self or one’s organization. A perfect example of someone who’s reputation will remained tarnished forever is Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon is not remembered for his policies as much as he is remembered for the scandal that ruined his career. For him, a single act cost him his reputation and his legacy.

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  29. boxofficesam

    The quote that resonated the most with me was “Publicity is a great purifier because it sets in action the forces of public opinion, and in this country public opinion controls the courses of the nation.” -Charles Evans Hughes. History reflects this statement perfectly, the changes that have made this country what it is today. Public opinion will always play the biggest role in how this country is to change and exist as a society.

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  30. Hailey Oliveri

    I think what all these quotes really highlight is the fact that PR is prevalent in many different industries whether it be entertainment, politics, or just general business. All different industries need PR to build their name, their brand, or their company. It also shows how much people need PR no matter what industry they’re in.

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  31. Awoolman13

    I think the best quote out of these is Bill Gates’. Here we have a a man who has been listed as the wealthiest person on Earth for the past decade, and he is saying that he would spend his last dollar on PR. He’s undoubtedly had enormous success during his lifetime and it really says something about the importance of PR if he makes a statement like that.

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  32. Martin Bradshaw

    Three of these quotes really resonated with me. The first quote from Charles Evans Hughes and the last two quotes from Bill Bernbach and Warren Buffet.

    The quote from Charles Evans, “Publicity is a great purifier because it sets in action the forces of public opinion, and in this country public opinion controls the courses of the nation” resonates with me because he references the powerful impact of public opinion. PR, to me, is a lot like the professional navigation and utilization of public opinion to further the message you and/or your client are trying to put out.

    The second quote that resonated with me was Bill Bernbach’s “Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” This is because senseless repetition of an ad or message without careful planning, strategy, and consideration just ends up irritating the audience you are projecting to and your message winds up being one of the annoying ads that everyone makes jokes about. Strategic and careful implementation of PR tactics is key to successful PR campaigning and message projection.

    The third and final quote that resonated with me was Warren Buffet’s quote that said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” This one probably resonated with me the most because we see the truth behind this quote evidenced again and again in the news. Scandals revealed about celebrities and organizations make the news on a regular basis. Bill Cosby, BP, and the NFL just to name a few that have made the news in recent years. No matter how good a company’s reputation, one big scandal can severely tarnish a reputation spell doom for sales or a career. Without good publicity and public relations, if you make a mistake then that might be all that the public remembers about you.

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  33. S. Shakola

    “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” We have seen this happen time and time again. Currently, we see it happening with the VW crisis. It is always amazing to see how companies and organizations, even individuals, pull out of a crisis and depending on how they do, their futures change. No matter how great the public may have viewed you beforehand, an instant can change that all and it may never be able to be rebuilt.

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  34. Rebecca Haines

    “Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” This quote is very powerful because when you really think about it, I could watch a commercial 20 times and not think anything of it depending on the way it was publicized. The message that comes across is what people really pay attention to. If your company or clients have good publicity and give off good messages, that is what is going to be noticed by the public.

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  35. Daphne Kotridis

    “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” I think there is a lot of power and truth behind this quote; whether we are reading or listening for information or dissecting the meaning of somebody’s text message, we are addicted to communication. Using words is a unique attribute of humankind in particular, which is interesting to consider. Animals and other beings all communicate through more sensory based methods, but humankind is able to take understanding each other to a whole new level. This is why words are so powerful; the difference between calling something a “tragedy” and calling it a “mishap” is huge, giving a PR professional a nearly unlimited arsenal of words to choose from, and, therefore, and unlimited realm of meaning behind those words.

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  36. caprice o

    I can identify with all of these awesome quotes, but the one that reignites is, “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.” (Ronn Torossian, founder, 5WPR) This quote is absolutely correct and is why I have studied all dimensions of communications. The experience of journalism, marketing, psychology and so on can only strengthen public relations skills. I have found it rewarding and insightful to have knowledge of all fields.

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  37. hallieabish

    My favorite quote is the one written by Benjamin Disrael. Those that run each country try their best to attain public support. Public support gives people faith in their country. This is essential for a cohesive country. I do think that this quote can be applied to other examples as well. For example, if you look public image from the standpoint of any company or person they are constantly promoting it. A company must promote something to the public in order to gain public image.

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  38. Sara Fox

    I think all of these quotes are accurate and profound definitions of public relations. Starting with the quote from Bill Gates was especially powerful. Once I began thinking about Bill Gates’s public image, I realized I could not recall any huge scandals that he has been involved in. Not only that, but Gates’s Twitter account is filled only with posts about his philanthropic efforts. Not to say that he is an imposter, but he makes an obvious effort to maintain a good public image. I would say he is pretty successful in that department, especially considering that he is the richest man in America. A lot of this has to do with the fact that he has the best PR reps money can buy and it is refreshing that he readily admits to it.
    The quotes comparing public relations to advertising were sufficient ways to relay the influence of public relations. It is true that a good PR story is more effective than a front page ad. In addition, Warren Buffet’s quote, “It takes 20 minutes to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it” is also effective. The show Scandal emphasizes on this concept very often which, while dramatized, is a show that highlights the importance of PR. The lengths Olivia Pope and her team go through to solve scandals have the power to save the reputations of her clients.

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  39. Dale Ciampa

    I did enjoy reading all of these quotes but the quote that really struck me was “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” -Warren Buffett. I related this quote to ANY relationship. Very similar to a boyfriend cheating on his girlfriend. Although anyone can built up a relationship with the public or any peers it can be broken in two minutes by an outlying comment. The public and the bottom line will be more likely to address an inappropriate comment that grabs negative attention then to talk about something communicated correctly. I think it takes a lot of work and time for a company to built trust with the public but one comment said out of place can leave everyone thinking differently.

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  40. Dan Hanson

    My favorite, by far, was the one made by Warren Buffet. It reads “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” This one really resonates with me because in my eyes it couldn’t be more true. Take a look at Volkswagen, for example. These guys were always known as a terrific car manufacturing company. However, their reputation was tarnished, recently, when they had the whole scandal about falsifying information. Another example comes from the Penn State scandal from a few years ago. Joe Paterno and his staff were recognized as an A+ football program and were viewed as role models. Then, when the information about Jerry Sandusky leaked out, that reputation as these white knights were completely disposed of overnight. Buffet is spot on because it couldn’t be more true. You can have things going your way for the longest time, but if you mess up even in the slightest manner, it all goes downhill.

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  41. Victor Alicea

    I think everyone in society can relate to Warren Buffet saying, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” It applies to so many different scenarios. You can be an athlete that strayed the right path his/her whole life to make it to the pros and at the snap of a finger one mistake like getting caught using steroids causes all the hard work to go away. You lose sponsorships, play time, contracts, moral support and self worth. All because you wanted to be the best and you needed to make a dumb mistake to be the best. It will be said millions of times for the next couple of ears but Volkswagen was known as the brand with safe and smooth running cars. This one scandal did so much damage the final result may be Volkswagen going out of business. Who really knows? Unfortunately people never forget the bad but expect good when aside from vow’s screw up, we are all human and make mistakes.

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  42. Abby Drapeau

    It’s always nice to see PR being appreciated, I think Benjamin Disreali, the 19th century prime minister from the UK’s quote resonates most with me“Without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.” Without PR, the public won’t know about your initiatives, and without the public, it won’t succeed.

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  43. Rachel Tyler

    “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” (Rudyard Kipling; 19th century writer)
    This quote stays with me the most. As a generally quite person, I find the best way I express myself is through written words. To me written words can leave a longer and strong impression.

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  44. Tara

    Every so often I think about the way our culture puts power into words. “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind,” said Rudyard Kipling, and I agree. Just think of the way our society makes certain words “curse” words. Words can make people do incredible and disastrous things. I think that is why good PR is important you have to be careful with how you present yourself and what you are saying to the public.

    In relation to presenting to the public, I also enjoyed the quote, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” by Warren Buffet. Buffet’s quote resonated with me and relates to PR because I think a PR professional has to be able to understand all aspects of the situation with their client. It is true that a reputation can be ruined very quickly, even if it took a while to build up.

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  45. Elaine

    “Without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.” I think this is resonate with me. For a organization or a country, person is the basic component of them. If company or government can not win publics’ support, they will go bankruptcy or decay. Especially in some democracy nations, citizens and publics are center of a nation. No matter what they should do, they must consider publics first. Thus, public relations is most important in our society. Public Relations practitioner should propagandize information to get publics support.

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  46. Jessica Granger

    Out of all of the quotes listed in the above post, the one that resonates the most with me is the one by Warren Buffet- “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” I believe this quote nails it to a T on what the profession of public relations is really about. As a company or public figure, you need to gain the trust of citizens and/or consumers. You need to make a positive impact on society, and when you go against that you need a team to bring your image back up.

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  47. Jack De Gilio

    “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” (Warren Buffet, chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway)

    I think this is the quote that resonates with me the most. While I really like all of these quotes, I think Warren Buffet’s statement shows how important PR is in a way that the other quotes do not. Words and actions can really affect how people view a person, company or brand and anything someone says or does can destroy any progress that was made over numerous years. The challenge is picking up the pieces during a crisis and recovering after the scandal starts to die down.

    One of the things that I like about this blog post in general is the fact that it shows the importance of PR and how big of a role it has in our society, even if there are those that don’t really know what public relations is. I think that it’s great to know that there are CEOs and businesspeople that understand the importance and benefits of public relations.

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  48. lpardee1

    “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” (Rudyard Kipling; 19th century writer), this quote is something I find myself living by everyday. As a journalism major words make and break everything I do. I pay thousands of dollars to learn about how to use my words in the right way that will make a difference. Without words no one would be able to communicate to one another. Words are addicting and can hurt people. They can stay with you forever. Words can change someones life or just make their day better. Words can create or break a business or empire. Words are the glue to our society and can be helpful, yet abused.

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  49. laurabellini

    I love this post and the quotes you found! I feel like they all summarize PR in a way that a simple dictionary definition just doesn’t explain. If I had to choose, my two favorite quotes would probably be: “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” (Rudyard Kipling; 19th century writer) and “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” (Warren Buffet, chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway). Both reign true to the profession of PR, as well as the individual. The quote by Kipling accurately expresses the importance of choosing your words carefully, while the quote by Hathaway can resonate with every person who has tried to make it in the world. Every individual works hard to make a name for themselves, and that can all be ruined in the matter of moments. Both quotes exemplify the importance of thinking before speaking, or performing an action. This applies especially to the field of PR.

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  50. ChloeLauraDale

    I must admit, I love a good quote and there is certainly a great selection listed in this blog post. I think it’s brilliant that so many successful people value the role of the PR professional. It’s great that there is an appreciation for our field. For me, I like “PR is performance recognition” because it’s a simple way to explain the profession. Sometimes my family and friends get confused by what it is I’m studying and they don’t understand what publics relations is. The next time I get asked, I’m going to quote Douglas Smith!

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  51. Judea Hartley

    I absolutely think that all of the quotes were powerful and very informative. It is true that Public Relations doesn’t have one definition. It doesn’t fit into one box. However, by reading all of the quotes, I definitely have a better understanding of how powerful PR is. My favorite quote stated ”It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and 5 minutes to ruin it” by Warren Buffet. In my class entitled ” The Practice of Public Relations”, we learn the importance of an organization building a good foundational reputation. Having a good reputation enables the public to trust the organization. Good relationships eventually bring money and an open door for professional expansion. However, a company’s reputation can be demolished in seconds. A primary factor that usually ruins a company’s reputation is the way a company handles itself during a crisis. The way a company handles a crisis can determine how the company is perceived for years to come. Not reporting your own mistakes, not speaking to the public as soon as the crisis hits, not having primary representation from the CEO/director of the company, and not putting a crisis management team/plan in place are all negatives for a company to perform during a crisis.

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  52. Victoria Reid

    While all of these quotes are great the one that really resonated with me was the one by Warren Buffet that says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.” To me this is really powerful because of how true it is. Many people spend years trying to build a name for themselves and makes one wrong move that ultimately ruins their career. It really goes to show how important it is to have a good public image and how quickly that image can become negative.

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  53. Jeff Lansky

    There were a few quotes that really stuck out to me. The first one is “Publicity is a great purifier because it sets in action the forces of public opinion, and in this country public opinion controls the courses of the nation,” by Charles Evans Hughes. I agree that public opinion does control the courses of the nation because public opinion effects many things such as local elections. The quote that stood out to me the most was “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” by Warren Buffet. This quote seems to become true more and more in our society today. One of the best examples of this is former Subway spokesman, Jared Fogle. Fogle was the face of Subway’s commercials for 15 years and when it was reveled that he was being investigated for possession of child pornography his career instantly ended. It is crazy to think how people held in such high regard could throw all their success away for nothing. Fogel’s incident is just another reason to be conscious of your actions or you could lose your career just like that.

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  54. R.J. Cherpak

    I found many of these quotes to be very insightful and show just how important it is for one to have good public relations and to avoid tarnishing their reputation. One of the quotes that resonates with me the most comes from the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett who said “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.” I feel that this quote is applicable to anyone whether its an individual or a company that is trying to market themselves and gain credibility because I feel that people will look for the first reason they can find to discredit someone when they view them as competition and if you make a mistake or have a mishap and word gets around about this mistake or mishap, this can forever damage your reputation. While on the other hand I feel that for anyone to build their reputation and have credibility they have to proves themselves time and time again and this can take years in some cases.

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  55. joebarone28

    My favorite – and I have heard this one before – “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” It is so true. Throughout our entire lives, we are working on how people view us. We are working to gain credibility. Yet, in just one minute (or 5) it can all be gone with the wrong comment or action spoken or completed.

    Perfect example – Brian Williams. He was America’s go-to broadcaster on the NBC Nightly News. He was on your TV sets day in, day out. He was trustworthy and informative. When wind of several lies came out, Williams lost a ton of credibility, his reputation, and probably lost a lot of fans after that mess.

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  56. Sarah

    The quote that left its impression on me the most is “Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” (Bill Bernbach, founder, DDB). In society today, there are advertisements everywhere even in the places you least expect them. A company can spend a lot of money advertising their product but, if your company doesn’t do the right thing or has a bad reputation, its a waste of money. At that point its just another ordinary advertisement and people will pass it right by because they know the truth about the company. Now a days word of mouth helps a lot with starting up a business. People want a service or a product that is reliable. This is why I agree with DDB, founder, Bill Bernbach.

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  57. Marc Roessle

    All of these quotes are great definitions of public relations. The one that stuck out to me the most was the one about how it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to destroy it. Anywhere from sports to entertainment it takes lots of time and effort to build a respectable reputation and it only takes one wrong move to ruin it.

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  58. Melissa Cooke

    I absolutely loved this blog post for numerous reasons. As you stated attempting to define PR is a hard task to complete since the job includes various different skills, tasks and is ever changing along with society.

    Many people do not fully understand the complexity of Public Relations and all the different mindsets/ hats PR professionals must use and wear. That is why I loved the quote “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.” This quote really resonates with me because it hits the nail on the head of all the aspects of Public Relations and it’s diversity. Being a successful Public Relations professional demands you to be just as diverse as the industry in your knowledge and skill set.

    I also really loved the quote “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” because it is simply so true. Words date back to the beginning of mankind and regardless of language or message are so extremely powerful. They have the ability to do a multitude of things that allow us to communicate with one another over various platforms for various causes. The value of words is very often overlooked but when used properly can be the most influential tool we have as humans, which in essence is the foundation of the PR Industry.

    Thank you for this blog post reading these quotes has reaffirmed my passion for the profession and all it entails!

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  59. azachar1

    Hi Professor Morosoff,

    I found all of these quotes to be extremely interesting. I couldn’t decide on just one quote that I liked so I decided to pick two.

    First, I really like the Kipling quote about the power of words. There’s that old saying that “sticks and stones may break my bones but names with never hurt me.” Well, I personally believe that is false. The power of words and the power of the pen have caused collateral damage. One bad tweet, one misinterpreted statement during a press conference, etc. are reasons why PR officials exist in the first place.

    Second, I resonated with the quote by Warren Buffet. It is shocking just how quickly a company or individual’s reputation can tarnish. If not handled correctly, news of a scandal can break the foundation that we try so hard to help maintain. This quote goes to show us how crucial crisis management plans are. As I’m learning through research for my paper on the Domino’s YouTube crisis back in 2009, crisis management is everything when a company is under serious scrutiny.

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  60. Katherine Hammer

    I enjoyed reading all of these quotes and I like that all of them ring true in public relations. The quote that most resonated with me is the quote given by Rudyard Kipling, “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” I believe this quote is very powerful, because in public relations, the words you use determines what people will think of you and the brand you are representing. Words are the most powerful tool in society, and as a public relations professional, you have to use the right words in order to connect positively to the public.

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  61. Emily DiLaura

    All of these quotes are so awesome! My two favorites though have to be, “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape” and, “Without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.” It’s good to see that some of the most famous people see how important PR can be for life and success. I think the one about words being the most powerful drug is also extremely accurate. I think I may write a few of these down and hold on to them for inspiration in the future!

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  62. Pakelody Cheam

    “Without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.”

    This quote really resonates with me. It reminds me of why I chose PR as my major –we make a huge impact on society. It’s all about building trust with the public.
    These are really positive quotes while PR might still have a bad rep for “spinning” and alike. These quotes really show what authentic PR is/should be.

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  63. Emily Walsh

    I really enjoyed all of these quotes and I found them very relevant to what I do on a daily basis. As you said, public relations is often times very hard to define. It is a mix of different skills and assets including writing, communication skills, critical thinking, business skill, and much more. I know PR is important, but reading these quotes reassured the way I feel about this profession. I enjoy the challenges it brings to me and I truly found what I love to do.

    The quote that resonated with me was “words are, of course, the most powerful frug used by mankind.” We use words to communicate every day within PR. The way in which we say things is our most powerful tool whether it be through writing or word of mouth. I find that so interesting. Words are so simple yet so complex at the same time, and they can really make or break a campaign in public relations. Great blog post-I really liked it!

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  64. Alexis Carfagno

    I found all of these quotes very interesting to read! As I read each quote, I kept saying to myself “Wow, this is so accurate!” after understanding and thinking about each quote. I have a few quotes that really resonated with me. The first quote was Ronn Torossian’s quote, “PR is a mix of journalism, psychology, and lawyering – it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.” I really liked this quote because I feel that PR isn’t just PR, it’s a combination of exactly all of the three fields that Ronn Torossian mentioned. I am a journalism major so I see how important the relationship between PR and Journalism is. Psychology is also an important part of PR because PR professionals must take into the account the mindsets of the public and the people they are working with. Lawyering is also part of PR as PR professionals must sometimes serve as a lawyer of their client.

    I also really liked Richard Branson’s quote, “Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” I feel that having good PR is crucial and it’s more important to have good PR than have bad PR and be on the front page because of it.

    These quotes really show how PR is appreciated by many influential figures and I found it very fascinating to read all of these quotes.

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  65. Bert Cunningham

    Great quotes. Here’s one from my career mentor, Howard Blankman. “Effective public relations is truth well told.”

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    1. jmorosoff Post author

      Yes, I’ve heard that before, Bert. John Hanc would use that quote when I was getting my master’s. It is, in fact, truly attributable to the McAnn Agency…in 1912, McCann registered the world’s first advertising trademark “Truth Well Told”. But it can apply to advertising, journalism and PR. A good, all-purpose quote!

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  66. jheiden1

    These quotes are great and I think it shows how far the profession has come. Today, there’s an overwhelmingly good response when someone discusses public relations. This was not always the case. The more the profession proves its good intentions, the more we can win peoples’ hearts. I resonate with the above quotes as someone who sees the beauty and importance in the profession.

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