The 70th anniversary of the NHS is hard to miss. A core quality of this great British institution is its commitment to care. This got me thinking about what care means in my own profession.
Of course, working in public relations is many miles removed from the experience of a doctor, nurse or porter working in a hospital or clinic.
But I do believe the concept of care is an essential characteristic of a successful PR professional, perhaps more so than hyper ambition or even creativity.
Care is about attention to detail and that capability of conjuring up and delivering clear, strong messages is vital for communicating a brand or position on an issue or trend. When you let this quality drop, the likelihood increases of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory with a typo spoiling a piece of perfect copy.
There is another dimension to care that’s similar to what the term means for a health professional. Taking the pulse of how your client’s account is performing in terms of coverage and results must be at the heart of your motivation to do good PR. Taking the time to always monitor and uncover insights into the health of our client’s reputation and what strategies we could take to achieve better outcomes.
Thinking about PR and PR agencies in these terms is becoming more mainstream. When I first started in the industry, there was little attention taken to how agencies should consider the physical and mental well-being of their staff. I have to say none of my early employers ever demonstrated appalling mistreatment of their workers. But, care for their staff was not the prime goal of the organisation.
However, today this seems to be changing with our trade organisation, PRCA, taking serious steps to encourage agencies to care about their staff and encourage positive work-life balance. After all, a happy and healthy workforce will drive success and lead to happy clients.