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:
“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?