Briana Cunningham, president of Hofstra’s PRSSA chapter, said it was the best speech about public relations she’s ever heard. The keynote address at PRSSA’s annual conference, delivered by Ketchum’s former global CEO Ray Kotcher to an audience of nearly 100 students and PR professionals, was the centerpiece of yesterday’s program. Mr. Kotcher’s talk was filled with superb advice and observations, and while it’s difficult to capture its full impact here, there are a few important quotes worth repeating:
“In the beats of your life, how are you going to make a positive impact on this world? As you set out, how are you going to continue to build upon your communications studies?…One needs to be a master story teller…One also needs to see all 360 degrees of the media universe…Anyone in PR should have an insatiable curiosity about the world in general.”
“Become what has been called a ‘learner for life.’ Continue to hone your hard skills such as verbal communication, writing and content development, social media, technology and computer proficiency. And your soft skills. The social ones…and other soft skills such as problem solving. And to grow in your career, develop and nurture relationships with mentors. Develop and nurture your network. Volunteer. Give back to the industry through participation in professional organizations just like this one. In so doing, you will not only help yourselves but you will help define the future and fulfill the promise of this great profession.”
“Character counts. It’s about integrity. When everyone is able to create or react with the tap of a finger, when everyone knows everything, doing our work to the highest moral standards is not just a value, it is a practical necessity. In this constantly morphing landscape, a strong sense of integrity must be the core value of our work. We must do it right – with verity, credibility, truthfulness. High standards must remain our guiding principle. For us and those to come, this is the clear path to continued, sustainable success for our great profession.”
Which of this highly-accomplished PR professional’s words of superb advice had impact for you? Your thoughts?