A PRofessional's advice

      59 Comments on A PRofessional's advice

I usually leave professional conferences with information that helps me do my job better. Student conferences, alternately, are filled with good advice about a profession–and life.

Scott Williamson

Scott Williamson

Some advice heard at the Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) National Conference in Atlanta came from Coca-Cola Vice President Scott Williamson, who delivered a keynote address to 1,250 students from around the country. His list, “Six Lessons Learned,” was developed from his 24 years’ experience as a public relations representative for Coke. He shared what life as a PR practitioner has taught him, and he discussion is relevant to just about everyone:

  1. Ignore the data (but not completely). “Don’t ignore the voice in your head and the feeling in your gut when making decisions,” Williamson told the students.
  2. Be simple, be clear, be awesome. Williamson challenged the students to read Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address as the example of profound expression written in simple terms. “Everything you say or don’t say, and everything you do or don’t do, is communication.”
  3. Shine your own shoes and iron your own shirt. Williamson said he was hired at Coke because he told his future boss that this is what he did. “No job is too small to give it your best effort, because you never know who’s watching,” he said.
  4. Belief matters. “If you work for a brand, incorporate that brand in your life,” he suggested. Williamson said he won’t even visit a restaurant that carries Pepsi products. “Why should I support my competitors?”
  5. Question the impossible. “In human history, running a mile in under four minutes was considered impossible until Roger Bannister did it in 1952,” he noted, “after which, the human running speed record was broken eight times in 27 months. Ask yourself why.”
  6. Hold out for both marshmallows. Referencing the famous psychological study in which children were given the choice of eating a marshmallow or waiting 15 minutes to get two, Williamson suggested students should “hold out for a better outcome. If you learn to wait for the things you want, you’ll reap the rewards.”

What advice from this veteran PR guy resonates with you? Your thoughts?

59 thoughts on “A PRofessional's advice

  1. premierorion

    I find all of these pieces of advice very useful, but one of my favorites was “Question the impossible.” Many times people are told there is something that they can not do and that something is impossible. If people don’t attempt to push the limits we will never advance as a society. Nothing is impossible, they are just unimaginable to those without the ambition.

  2. Bianca Kroening

    His advice was really inspiring! Especially since he managed to become VP of Coke after being their PR practitioner for so long! What really struck me was what he said about questioning the impossible. It makes you wonder what else we’re missing out on, just by telling ourselves that we can’t…

  3. Maddi Roman

    The advice that resonates with me the most is to, “hold out for both marshmallows.” We live in a society that lacks patience and expects instant gratification. Often, when success takes a while to achieve, people will give up half way. They do not realize that if they just stick with their plan, the end result will be far better than they ever imagined.

  4. Daphne Kotridis

    #4, Belief matters. I think this is so important because it seems too easy to end up working for a company simply because it had a job opening. But if you don’t believe in the product or service you are selling, how can your portrayal of the company be genuine? And how can you enjoy yourself while you are working if you’re not working towards something you believe in? I suppose that’s one advantage of working for a smaller company – in all likelihood, you’d have more involvement and a better understanding of the company’s beliefs. In a larger company, you could end up getting stuck in bureaucracy and not understanding what you’re even working towards.

  5. Lysa Carre

    3. Shine your own shoes and iron your own shirt.
    Williamson said he was hired at Coke because he told his future boss that this is what he did. “No job is too small to give it your best effort, because you never know who’s watching,” he said.

    This lesson learned from Mr. Williamson is outstanding and a phenomenal piece of advice to take away from this conference. I am a strong believer in doing it yourself because you’re a walking billboard of your own characteristics. Personally, I take great pride in my work and always strive for it to be my best effort.

    I feel that it is important to be persistent and get back up no matter how many times you may fall down. It is crucial to be a problem-solver and learn how to do tasks on your own because the more you are capable of accomplishing, the less you will have to rely on others to get the job done.

    Being well-rounded and a ‘jack of all trades’ is essential to being valuable. People are always watching and subconsciously making judgments based on your behavior. Since that’s the way society functions, utilizing your best efforts and exceeding others’ expectations will fundamentally work in your benefit in the long-run.

  6. jzagorski22

    “Shine your own shoes and iron your own shirt,” is great. I grew up being taught to do things on my own for the benefit of no one but me. My mother and father never babied any of their children and because of that we were all able to grow into hardworking, independent young adults. Nobody likes dirty scuffed up shoes or a wrinkly shirt, just like nobody wants to be broke or stupid. Make your own money and get your own education, without stealing or cheating your way through life.

  7. lourdesjc

    Great advice. Encouraging, motivating, and it should be present more often in our everyday lives as we easily get discouraged when something doesn’t turn out like we had envisioned it. It’s this kind of advice that fuels me up to continue my studies in journalism despite being told often that the industry is tough. Reading this just motivated me to keep it up.

  8. kgorsky1

    The comment that most resonates with me was “No job is too small to give it your best effort, because you never know who’s watching.” It is important for those who work in public relations to realize that there is always someone watching our every move who is ready to criticize what we are doing. Taking shortcuts and making things seem easier can be damaging mistakes that can easily ruin your reputation.

  9. jennsmulo

    I really appreciate and enjoy his advice, especially “Shine your own shoes and iron your own shirt.” On paper, we all look so similar. We have college degrees from similar universities and have interned or worked at similar places. It’s the small things that make you stand out and make you special. I actually got one of my internships because I’ve worked a manual labor job before and my boss thought that was really interesting and cool, something I considered pulling off my resume because it didn’t seem relevant.

  10. cdano1

    I really liked each of these because they seem like very good advice. It is always important to take pride in everything you do, even if it is something as small as ironing your own shirts.

  11. thesimplemind1

    My favorite part about this post was that his boss gave him the job because he ironed his own shirts. I personally believe you shouldn’t change who you are to get a job. If your true self shines through, then that is the best thing. The fact that one thing I might say in front of someone could be the defining factor of getting hired if scary but also inspiring. I always want to be myself, and I iron my shirts too!

  12. Dan Hanson

    This is the first one I haven’t responded to on time but I really liked this entry. I firmly believe in doing things yourself and I really liked the comment about shining your own shoes. I am also a person who generally does what he believes so the comment about going with your gut resonated with me, as well. I thought that the comment about not going to a restaurant with Pepsi was a bit extreme but hey, to each his own. Regardless, I very much respect this guy and he is a good inspiration to those that want to be successful.

  13. haileyoliverihailey oliveri

    The be simple, be clear, be awesome comment is important because any action, whether it’s done or not, is an action and will send a message. Like saying no comment, verbally you’re not saying much, but those two words will be interpreted a lot deeper than what you’re actually saying.

  14. nvergara1721

    What helpful lessons for a young student as myself! Anticipating graduation in the spring is a scary thing, and it is even scarier knowing that soon enough I will have to figure out the real world on my own. I love how Scott Williamson makes these pieces of advice so relatable to anyone. He uses simple words; real-life scenarios. “Be simple, be clear, be awesome.” Its as simple as that. And how powerful is this line? “Everything you say or don’t say, is communication.” I think that’s the greatest thing to know in the Public Relations profession.

  15. jheiden1

    The whole “shine your own shoes and iron your own shirt” comment really resonated with me. I had an experience with my current internship about something similar. There were things I had been doing that I never realized my supervisors were picking up on. I didn’t see them as the most groundbreaking actions, but to them, it showed my determination as an intern. I was praised for my behaviors and they asked me to stay another semester. It seems funny, but the little things really do make a huge difference.

  16. Erin Schmitt

    These pieces of advice from Scott Williamson should be understood by the entirety of our generation, but they especially reign true for those going into the PR profession. I enjoy all of Williamson’s points, but I especially resonate with points #2, #3 and #6. “Be simple, be clear, be awesome” holds true particularly in today’s world. We live in a fast-paced society that requires accessibility and easily understood content if we want to be fully considered. Everyone is on the go, so we must deliver our messages in a concise manner. I appreciate the third statement because I think it is very important to devote yourself to all that you do and take pride in doing it in a respectable manner, even including the little and menial tasks.

  17. Allie Giordano

    To me I like the advice “shine your own shoes and iron your own shirt”. I agree with him that no job is too small to give it your best effort, because you never know who’s watching. You can learn something that can help you in the future from any job you do. This statement is especially true for students interning in the PR field!

  18. vciavarella24

    Each piece of advice really stuck out to me and as I kept re-reading each point I was really fascinated. For me, #1 “Ignore the data (but not completely). “Don’t ignore the voice in your head and the feeling in your gut when making decisions,” really relates to me the most out of them all. Growing up I was always really bad at decision making and always needed to ask others to help me with them. But, I slowly learned that it is important to go with your first thought and what you believe feels right. My mother always told me to do what I think is right especially on tests, always stick with your first answer and never change it. Always stick with your intuition! This will be important for me down the road with jobs and future decisions after college.

  19. emilyfgreen

    My favorite piece of advice is the fourth one, belief matters. If you incorporate the company’s product into your everyday life, you are more likely to feel connected to the company and therefore represent the company more efficiently. All of these points are great pieces of advice and should be noted by all of us as future PR professionals.

  20. Rebecca Haines

    The advice that most resonates with me is “hold out for both marshmallows.” In life, we are taught that good things happen to those who wait. I believe in this. I think that patience is very important, especially when it comes to finding a job in a field such as PR. I do not expect to get a job right out of college that pays me $90,000 a year. I have to work up to that and earn it fairly. I intend on working hard to get the best I can in the end.

  21. Abby Drapeau

    It’s always beneficial to hear from PR pros, to hear their advice and try to absorb some of their wisdom. I really liked how he said to be simple and clear. I think what made Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address so spectacular was how he used a language that the masses could understand, it shows the importance of knowing your audience, and knowing how to communicate with them.

  22. Nicole Garcia

    Williamson’s “shine your own shoes and iron your own shirt” lesson resonated with me most. One’s ability to try their hardest regardless of one’s carrier-level not only displays a person’s skill-set but even more, reflects a person’s work ethic and resilience.

  23. Katherine Hammer

    “Be simple, be clear, be awesome” is the comment that I think best resonates with myself and society as a whole. It’s best to get your message across as easily and accessible as possible, so others can understand it at a quick glance. Our society is moving so fast with technology, that one has to be as simple and clear as possible. It’s important to understand that whatever little thing you do or don’t do sends a message. Like Williamson stated, “Everything you say or don’t say, and everything you do or don’t do, is communication.” I believe this is a very powerful statement, because it affects the public relations world entirely. I enjoyed the other notable advice he gave, and I think that all of his points can help students prepare a little more for the public relations world.

  24. A. Murphy

    I believe that there is so much that can be learned from experiences like conferences. There is so much advice, conversation, learning opportunities, and networking/outreach opportunities that make conferences amazing places for students and professionals. I would love to get more involved in opportunities like these.

  25. syanok

    Be simple, be clear, be awesome and belief matters. These two pieces of advice from the Coke vice president really resonated with me because they are in line with the lessons we have been learning in class. believing in the brand will better your communication strategy because you will put more energy into it. Being simple and clear with your messages ensures that your audiences will be able to understand and absorb them.

  26. capriceoliver

    These were great advice tips to give in the seminar. What registered to me the most was number three, Shine your own shoes and iron your own shirt. Sometimes people have the habit of taking small jobs less serious. In the public relations world every job counts, so you must always do above the expected. My mom always told me, you never know who’s watching so always make it count! I love all f these PR tips, they can definitely be used in our professional and educational careers. I would have loved to be sitting in on this seminar.

  27. lpardee1

    All of Williamson’s points are relevant and he puts them together in such a scannable, simplified format that is helpful to those he is trying to teach. The point that hit home for me, especially as a journalism major was point number 3. “No job is too small to give it your best effort, because you never know who’s watching.” This is so important because often times I find it easy to blow off smaller less valuable projects or assignments, but in the end your name is on those pieces of work and when you go into an interview one day and an employer looks up your clips online, if the smaller ones pop up first that is the impression they will get of you right off the bat.

  28. Forrest Gitlin

    I really like his statement, “everything you say or don’t say, and everything you do or don’t do, is communication.” It’s true, when someone neglects to mention something, he or she is not entirely leaving it out of the message. Instead, implied messages can even resonate more with people when the support is stated, but not the outright claim. Leading someone to a conclusion can be so much more impactful than declaring something front-and-center.

  29. Awoolman13

    I love the first piece of advice he gives students. While it is important to report on statistics and numbers and use those to your benefit in PR, we aren’t robots. It is important that we also use words and the english language to our advantage as PR professionals

  30. Cass Lang

    I think out of all of the points your post brought up, “Hold out for both marshmallows,” resonated with me most. Patience is something that I personally struggle with and definitely need to work on. Hearing how important patience/waiting could potentially be from someone as successful as Coca-Cola VP Scott Williamson is a bit of a surprise. I think this point is going to challenge me to embrace waiting.

  31. Emily DiLaura

    Man that is some great advice. I wish I could’ve been there to hear it myself but those tips are definitely going on my wall so that I can be reminded of them as I push myself every day.
    It’s great to see a PR professional giving advice to students, and great advice at that. Coca-Cola is such a successful company that people will trust Williamson’s word to be honest and helpful -I know I sure did. I also love the marshmallow reference because I’ve heard tons about that experiment and it’s very true, always wait it out and be patient. Better outcomes come to those who are patient. My other favorite tip is the shine your own shoes and iron you’re own shirt. For years I fought that battle with my brother because he would always ask me to do it for him (he’s two years older than me) until one day I said no way do it yourself. Now he works on wall street! Doing even the smallest things yourself gives you an appreciation for the little things as well.
    Overall, great advice and an awesome post! Thank you for sharing

  32. audrathorsen

    The tip that Scott Williamson gave that resonates with me the most is tip number three, “Shine your own shoes and iron your own shirt.” He stated, “No job is too small to give it your best effort, because you never know who’s watching.” I really admire this outlook on life because many people will give half of the effort for a job they don’t consider as important as opposed to a job they consider more important. Everything you do in life counts and people are always watching. It’s important to always give full effort because even though you may not think so, others are always watching.

  33. jhlabella

    All of these quotes are great! Number 3 resonated with me because I do believe that some of my peers feel that they are too good for some jobs. However I think that if you do the small jobs well the big ones will come in time. Also what makes you too good for any position? If you can perform in a small task then the big ones will come.

  34. Pakelody Cheam

    I particularly liked number 5. Question the Impossible.
    In order to understand why and how people operate, we need to get down to their motives. In the example Williamson provided with the runner, it made me realize I had never thought about any impossible situation that way. Once someone achieves something, other people believe it’s possible and try for themselves rather than believing it to be impossible.

  35. hallieabish

    My favorite part of Williamson’s speech was the portion where he discussed “question the impossible”. This definitely resonated with me the most. Health and fitness has become a huge part of my life. My trainer often discusses the importance of challenging yourself. He often reminds me that “if it does not challenge you it will not change you”. I feel that this relates to Williamson’s remarks about Roger Bannister. Running a mile in that short of a time is definitely challenging. It is important to always push yourself even if you think something is impossible for you to achieve. If you push yourself to do things that you once considered impossible, you will be amazed at the things that you can achieve.

  36. Rachel Tyler

    This is great advice given by Scott Williamson. What resonates with me the most at this time in my life is, “everything you say or don’t say, and everything you do or don’t do, is communication.” Recently, I have been realizing just how important nonverbal communication is. The way you present yourself can tell a lot about your confidence in either your company or client. Learning how to properly communicate through body language is equally as important as communicating through written word.

  37. Elaine

    Honestly, as a PR people, these six tips are important for us and we must learn them. However, the first and fifth are resonates with me. Because without creativity, PR person can not have a good method or idea to deal with problems. Thus, they can not ignore the voice and feeling. Also, as a PR people, we must have critical thinking. We should question personal’s idea rather than follow one’s idea. We must put our heads together to create the best solution or plan. Thus, we must question impossible when we have some questions.

  38. Kylie Todd

    Each of these 6 lessons touches on some very interesting and important aspects that should be followed throughout life, not only within the professional world. One lesson that stuck out to be was 6. Hold out for both marshmallows. As Williamson said, “Hold out for a better outcome. If you learn to wait for the things you want, you’ll reap the rewards.” Our society today (especially our youth) want everything so fast. Information, recognition, money. And that’s due to the fact that we live in a fast-pace country. But we tend to forget that we learn so much about ourselves and in others in the wait to get what we want and take it for granted.

  39. Lindsey

    Williamson makes an interesting point using the Roger Bannister breaking the world record for the shortest mile, after which the record was broken 27 times in eight months. This is a valuable lesson that one should never except what is said to be impossible. There is always a way to make it possible. Once others see the impossible being done, they will be inspired to try harder. Striving for a seemingly unattainable goal as a leader inspires others to do the same and works to make everyone better.

  40. Marc Roessle

    Each one of these six lessons resonates with me in some type of way. I think these six points are a good way to just look at life in general, not just public relations. The one that says “Question the Impossible”, I think that this is one of the top ones on there because that is a lesson that I think everyone needs to learn. There are a lot of things in life that people say are “impossible” but really aren’t. If you put your mind to it, anything can happen.

  41. Sara Fox

    All these pieces of advice resonated with me. In particular, the second one seems especially important. In this class alone we have learned the importance of protecting and advancing the free flow of accurate and truthful information. This means that providing the response “no comment” is in fact a comment and it indicates that you and your client have something to hide. This is a vastly important lesson I have learned since beginning this major. I have seen a handful of movies and television shows where the publicist will say “no comment” and it was brushed off as though they had no thoughts on the matter. After developing a PR mindset, I now realize that these movies were not realistic. Saying “no comment” is a clear indication of disclosure and will not be accepted by the public.

    In addition, I liked the fourth piece of advice listed that encourages a PR professional to truly incorporate their client’s brand into their life. I agree that this is important. However, it is interesting to me that Scott Williamson will not even go to a restaurant that serves Pepsi products because he doesn’t want to support Coca-Cola’s direct competitors. This is admirable, but seems a little excessive. Does he really research every restaurant he goes to in order to find out what kind of soda they serve?

  42. ChloeLauraDale

    I like the “belief matters” quote because I think it’s important to work for a company you respect. If you truly love the name you represent, it will come across in your work. I also like “question the impossible” because that’s just a fantastic mentality to have. We should all believe we have a shot of achieving something brilliant.

  43. Victoria Reid

    Honestly, all of the lessons resonated with me but the first and last tips resonated the most. The first because I’ve always believed that you should trust your gut feeling in almost every situation because that usually ends up being the right way to go. I really loved the last one because I think often times we think that the first thing to come our way is the best option, but you never know what else is going to come around. The first lesson applies here because I think you have to consult the voice in your head and your gut feeling to decide whether or not to stay where you are or take the option that’s being presented to you. I also loved the fifth, “Question the impossible” because if we don’t question what we’re capable of we wouldn’t grow or set any goals that we weren’t absolutely sure we could accomplish.

  44. zhenpanda

    I question advice four and love five and six.
    You’re not supporting your competitors if your learning about your enemies.
    Number five is absolutely amazing because anything IS possible!

  45. kassaramcelroy

    I am inspired to read the Gettysburg address.
    Additionally, Williamson’s point about questioning the impossible is eye-opening and resonated most with me. The only thing preventing barriers from being broken is the thought that they can’t be, seen through the example of the under four minute mile.

  46. S. Shakola

    Though all of the tips were extremely informative and helpful, I think the one that resonated most with me was the final one, “hold out for both marshmallows.”
    I think with our generation, we have become so accustomed to the “quick” and “easy” with modern day technology; it’s almost as if we do not have the patience to hold off for something possibly better in the long run. Therefore, I think the discussion of not always taking the first option and waiting out for something better is an important tip to highlight.

  47. boxofficesam

    I connect most with the first piece of advice given. “Don’t ignore the voice in your head and the feeling in your gut when making decisions”. This is just something I feel that I’ve been doing all my life. There have been studies that even show that on a multiple choice test your first gut feeling is usually right. Always trust your gut.

  48. emilyrwalsh

    It sounds like you had an amazing weekend at the PRSSA national conference! Scott Williamson gives a lot of wonderful advice that are perfect for PR professionals. Out of these, four, five and six really resonate with me in many ways.

    I truly think belief matters. If we is passionate about something, we should work hard on that subject to make a difference. Especially in the field of PR, we must be proud of who and what we represent. We must also question the impossible and push ourselves to new limits. Nothing is too hard if we put our minds to it. Lastly, I loved Williamson’s “hold out for both marshmallows”. Nothing worthwhile comes easy, and we must work hard and be patient for our rewards. I really enjoyed this post, and I feel like I have six new pieces of advice to keep with me throughout my career as a public relations professional.

  49. Jack De Gilio

    Scott Williamson’s advice is actually really helpful and interesting, and it makes me more interested in the PR field more than anything. “Belief matters” really resonates with me, as I feel as though it would be stupid to not be supportive of the company you don’t even believe in. If you don’t believe in your product, what’s the point in doing public relations for that said product?

    I also really like the “hold out for marshmallows” advice, as I feel as though it’s just a general advice to live by. Good things do actually come to things who wait, and in PR sometimes waiting is actually going to benefit more. Really, in general, all of Williamson’s advice could be applied to any situation, but I feel as though it is definitely important to keep all of these tips in mind when working in public relations.

  50. azachar1

    Hi Professor Morosoff,

    I bet the PRSSA conference was amazing! I really want and hope to attend the next one!

    I think out of the 6 tips, the one that personally resonates with me the most is “belief matters.” Even though I absolutely love Hofstra, Binghamton University (where I received my undergraduate degree) will always hold a special place for me. I literally lived, ate, slept, and breathed Binghamton. I was a tour guide during the semesters and summers and found myself talking about Binghamton to everyone I met. It should come as no surprise that my love for Binghamton naturally led me to interning for Binghamton University PR/Communications. Because I believed so much in the university, my time as a PR intern was not simply a job. It meant so much more because as their intern, I was one of the main representatives of the university. I cannot imagine interning or working for a place in PR that you are not passionate…because if you are not passionate and loving your organization, why would anyone else?

  51. Judea Hartley

    All I can say is WOW to all of the tips that were presented. There isn’t a single tip that I can point out that was better than another. So lets go in order. I believe that it is past vital to take whatever job you have seriously. In order for the business to be a success, there must be workers present that are working behind the scenes to help make the business a success. I also believe that one should not despise small beginnings because their hard work will lead them to something greater. This can be a greater career, or/and greater relationships that ensure future success. In PR, it is very important to follow your instinct and gut feeling because if one follows those two, this can possibly avoid a crisis. Making the right decisions and having a good approach can really save one’s career, company, cooperation, and reputation. Building great relationships, dependability, accountability, and planning are all essentials that are needed to build a great relationship between a company and the public.

    Therefore, in building this relationship with the public, one must believe in their company. Belief enables hard work, dedication and loyalty. With these tools, it is inevitable for success to occur. Scott Williamsons’ ” shine your own shoes and iron your own shirt” approach enabled me to put this in perspective. Careful consideration regarding one’s business will enable the endurance of the company. When the CEO/director makes careful decisions about the business, this will help the company to avoid one to many crisis. Quick fast decisions usually lead to downfalls. Lastly, many of the outlets that are available to expand one’s business may be intimidating to the PR team. However, it is very important to keep in mind that many of these risk will lead to another level of success. Sometimes change and expansion leads to greater success. Nothing is too impossible with a great PR team and strategic planning. I just really enjoyed all of Mr. Wiliamsons’ nuggets for success. They were very true and helpful.

  52. Martin Bradshaw

    I think the third lesson he mentioned is the one that really resonated the most with me. This is because, in PR, reputation is a significant focus. So the same goes for your life and your career in general. First impressions and reputations hold a lot of weight in the eyes of employers so I think it’s important to always be prepared to make a good impression because you never know when an opportunity will catch you by surprise.

  53. Sarah

    I think Scott Williamson gave fantastic advice from his 24 years of experience. It was hard to choose, but the point that resonated the most with me was “Shine your own shoes and iron your own shirt”. This point stuck with me because my dad always taught me to give my all in everything that I do. It may be wrong, but if the effort is there, it still counts. There is no one there to say that you didn’t try, if it’s clear that you did. Also if you put in 100% of your effort into something you do, you can be proud of it and be full of confidence. I am also a strong believer in being independent and striving for what you want without letting anything or anyone get in the way.

  54. Alexis Carfagno

    I think all of the points in Williamson’s “Six Lessons Learned” list resonates with me. The first point, “Ignore the data (but not completely)” really struck me because it is something that my mom tells me all the time and something that I find important to learn more and more each day. I think it is really important to always trust your instincts and gut feelings because most of the time they are right. It is better to follow your instincts than regretting you didn’t.

    I also really like number four, “Belief Matters”. I think it is very important that if you work for a brand, you must be supportive and proud of it. In addition, I liked number five “Question the impossible”. This is something that we all are taught at a very young age, to dream big and never say anything is “impossible”. As what Audrey Hepburn said, “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m Possible'”. Therefore, to make progress in life, you have to dream big and always question the impossible.

  55. joebarone28

    Aside from having multiple marshmallows, which is ideal, I don’t think the last piece of advice makes much sense because I was always taught that “the early bird gets the worm.” Sometimes waiting has benefits but waiting also risks losing out on major opportunities. In my opinion, “no job is too small to give it your best effort, because you never know who’s watching” is perfect. This day in age, with social media, everyone is watching and everyone knows what you are doing and if you are succeeding at what you are doing. Always give 110% in everything you do and the rewards will come.

  56. Victor Alicea

    As PR people, we can all take something from each point Williamson addressed in his keynote address. The one that resonates with me the most is questioning the impossible. As a minority living in the city of New York, there are many factors that play against our people. These factors range from the low expectations of earning an undergraduate degree to the now gentrification going on in neighborhoods like Harlem, East New York and the South Bronx. More than half of the things we own would have never been a thought one hundred years ago and came into fruition with a vision. We should try to reach for the stars because the last thing many people would hate to die wondering is the question of what if.

  57. Jeff Lansky

    I found that all six lessons from Williamson were relevant, but two of his comments stuck out to me the most. The first is “Don’t ignore the voice in your head and the feeling in your gut when making decisions.” I think that it is important to not second guess yourself and follow your gut. Most of the time the voice in your head or the gut feeling you have will not steer you wrong.
    The second comment that stood out to me was to “Question the impossible.” I love this quote because you should never give up on something that people say can’t be done. You should always strive to achieve your goals regardless of what others say.

  58. Tara

    I really enjoyed all of the advice, but one quote that stuck out to me was “Everything you say or don’t say, and everything you do or don’t do, is communication.” When I arrived at college I quickly realized how important communications skills are. I always had ok communications skills, but after choosing a major in PR I knew they needed improvement. My Oral Communications class really helped with public speaking and talking to professors and advisers helped my skills as well. Another quote that stuck out was “hold out for a better outcome. If you learn to wait for the things you want, you’ll reap the rewards.” It reminds me of my mom because she always says “patience is a virtue.” I believe patience is a really important quality to have, especially when you are working in PR. Things might not always go your way, but if you are patient usually it will get better.

  59. Dale Ciampa

    I think all of this comments resonate with everyone who is studying pr. In particular his point “Be simple, be clear, be awesome” applies the most in the world today. Now people don’t have the time to read long articles and are attracted by a simple statement or first line. If the first line to a story follows the “Be simple, be clear, be awesome” guideline i think ti would attract a lot of people. Having a simple and straightforward beginning will make readers pick up the article, without to much effort.
    I also think “belief matters” is important for anyone representing anything. A representative for any company won’t have much credibility if they’re buying into a competitor. A representative needs to represent and support what they are known for or else they’re whole image will be questionable. For example, If Steve Jobs went to a meeting holding a Microsoft computer, i think it would raise some questions.


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