It’s 2014. Name three meaningful pieces of information that you’ve learned this year that you didn’t know last year. If you have difficulty responding, then make your belated New Year’s resolution to learn something new every day.
As public relations practitioners, we are responsible for counseling clients and advising, if not implementing, tactics to help accomplish their business goals. If we’re not well versed in multiple subjects including business trends, consumer habits, updated research, global and domestic current news, hot political topics and more, then we’re a disservice to our clients and to ourselves.
So let’s go on a diet – a mental one. Let’s resolve to feed our minds with healthier fare. Get a library card if you don’t already have one as libraries need our support, and offer lots of free online and print resources. Read a book about an unfamiliar topic. Download a niche magazine. Subscribe to a classic novel app. Peruse a white paper. If you’re really looking for something challenging, become one of the few people to read the entire Affordable Care Act.
Reading has so many benefits to us as professionals. Readers make better writers. You can impressive others at cocktail parties. You become better qualified as a game show candidate. You’ll have more followers. Your respect rating will increase. You’ll have more time because watching TV will now bore you. You’ll be more informed and less stressed by polarizing pundits and less-than-objective newscasts (I prefer BBC).
Feeding our minds with substantive, provocative and useful information is a win-win. You benefit, your clients benefit, your family benefits, your peers benefit and your pets benefit (read to them!).
They say that knowledge is power. Let’s resolve to be more powerful.
Susan Hart, APR, Fellow PRSA, is president of Hart Public Relations in Nashville, TN, and a lifelong supporter and card-carrying member of public libraries.