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A Communicator’s Calling: The Masterful PR Professional Serves Others First

The masterful PR professional is a servant chief–one whose self-mastery and self-discipline in serving others assist her stand out.

“In numerous for-profit and nonprofit organizations immediately, we’re seeing conventional autocratic and hierarchical modes of management yielding to a distinct means of working:

  • one based mostly on teamwork and neighborhood
  • one which seeks to contain others in resolution making
  • one strongly based mostly on moral and caring habits and
  • one that’s trying to boost the non-public progress of staff whereas bettering the caring and high quality of our many establishments

This rising method to management known as servant management.”

Servant management’s qualities

Larry Spears wrote the above in Working towards Servant Management: Succeeding By Belief, Bravery, and Forgiveness, (336pp, Jossey-Bass, 2004). His co-author was Michele Lawrence.

Servant management is not incumbent on one’s persona, however her character. It does not require being an extrovert. Many introverts are exemplary PR servant leaders. And it does not require holding an government place. Folks at any job degree can change into servant leaders.

The bottom line is merely main from the place an individual is–irrespective of their rank or duty.

Masterful PR professionals who’re servant leaders are:

  • extraordinary listeners
  • encouragers
  • goal-setters
  • smart stewards of sources
  • staff builders
  • gifted lecturers
  • persuaders
  • connectors and
  • battle resolver

They invite others to dream massive and stroll beside them as they plan the work and work the plan. They by no means stroll to date forward of their staff that nobody sees them or understands the mission.

Humility, compassion, empathy

Servant-leading PR professionals exhibit humility and prolong compassion and empathy. They by no means supply mere breadcrumbs. As a substitute, they supply wealthy, significant, coherent inside communication that focuses and reenergizes workers.

Moreover, they’re philanthropists and genuinely love folks. As such, they provide of themselves for worthy causes as volunteers and supply monetary assist.

This level is harking back to a donor name instance.

A university growth officer sat with a potential donor, a particularly rich individual. He shared with the possible donor the varsity’s dream of transforming its science constructing.

In the course of the assembly, the event officer noticed the potential donor had a checkbook and pen prepared. In mild of this and the constructive dialog, the event officer was assured in regards to the upcoming multi-million greenback request.

Following the ask, the possible donor sat again in his wingback chair and stated: “This can be a mission I can assist. However earlier than I write my test, let me ask, ‘Do you assist your establishment?’”

The event officer admitted the reply was no.

“In case your establishment is not price your personal funding,” the potential donor stated, “then it is actually not price mine.”

Authenticity’s significance

A PR skilled who’s a servant chief understands this. It is not the quantity of our philanthropy–whether or not that is hours spent volunteering, monetary assist, or each–that counts. However earlier than we encourage others to assist us, we, as PR professionals, have to be among the many first who make investments ourselves in no matter means we are able to.

Our credibility and genuine management as PR professionals is appreciated much more after we put money into what we talk, promote, problem, encourage, persuade, or invite others to do. They see and worth that we’re honest and real.


Final, servant leaders are dedicated to rising these round them.

As such, they rapidly supply reward and recognition. They ship occasional handwritten notes of appreciation or emails providing encouragement. Furthermore, they don’t seem to be shy about offering shout-outs on social media when a colleague or pal is honored. They genuinely take pleasure in celebrating the successes of others. why?

As a result of they’re servant leaders.

Ought to a servant chief head the PR operation, they supply lifelong studying alternatives for his or her staff by way of skilled growth choices. Like planting a seed, servant leaders domesticate progress and revel in watching staff rise within the occupation.

Marc C Whitt is teacher and director of media & strategic relations, College of Kentucky workplace of PR and strategic communications. This essay is an edited excerpt from his e book by him, “When In Doubt, Make Applesauce! Core Habits of the Masterful Public Relations Skilled“(444 pp., Cherrymoon Media, 11/2022).

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