Answers from the century’s most influential PR figure

Last month I was given the opportunity to meet one of PR’s most inspirational personalities: Harold Burson co-founder of one of the largest and most successful PR firms in the world, Burson-Marsteller.

As Burson passed through the room full of PR people I was told all about how the man described by PRWeek as the century's most influential figure doesn't know how to take a step back from the business. Even now, at the vibrant age of 92, I’m told that he continues to work for the company.

Burson gave the audience an insight into his life and career and even offered a few tips for those working in the industry. As if that wasn't enough he even quoted some rap lyrics – there’s no wonder he won me over!

One of the things he said that really stuck in my head is something both PR professionals and businesses alike have a lot to learn from. “There are two parts to PR, one part is communication and the other is behaviour.

“Since the digital age, the emphasis has been a great deal more on communicating – getting messages out to people, without sufficient thought to whether they could be lived up to. I think it’s extremely important, particularly for corporations selling products and services, to deliver on that promise. My feeling is that we're rushing to get our message across without thinking through the message itself.”

What Burson said sounds to me like a very good piece of advice for all businesses to take, irrespective of size or type. It’s important to be able to walk the walk; if businesses can't back up their promise, they will not sell to the customer.

Burson also pointed out PR professionals can provide a major source of content for the digital industry which left me feeling very optimistic about the future of Technical PR.

I think that it’s about time we replaced Max Clifford’s poor representation of PR in the UK with a much more influential and morally correct figure like Harold Burson.

What do you think? Give us a call and let us know.

By Ashleigh McLeod

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Ashleigh McLeod

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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