This is the exact time of the academic year when it really hits me…the future of the public relations profession truly is in good hands.
No, it’s not “exam fatigue”…exams at Curry College don’t start until next week. Nor have I (as many students in my early-ish morning classes suspect is all-too-often the case) over-caffeinated.
What it is, actually, is the result of the high that I’m on because today I’m presenting the Communication Department’s “Public Relations” award, as I do every year, to a PR Concentration student who, in my own less-than-humble opinion, absolutely personifies the concept of “public relations professional” with an emphasis on “professional.”
She has three successful internships under her belt, and she parlayed one of those into her just-accepted first PR job as Special Events Coordinator for the ALS Association/Massachusetts Chapter. She is the first student from Curry to have received the PRSA Boston Educational Scholarship. And she is wrapping up a successful term as president of the Curry College Public Relations Student Association.
The future for this budding superstar is summer-sunlight bright, and she has worked for and duly deserves every bit of recognition that she is receiving.
And this is what we, as the “older generation,” need to hang onto…the undeniable fact that there are others entering our profession who will ably take the reins and guide clients and employers on into the future.
Sure there will be moments of angst on both sides of the fence when these “youngsters” run into the bends and bumps that come with the job and are faced with making a decision that could have a major impact on the client’s or employer’s future.
But we will soon recognize, like the mother bird who gently nudges her fledgling youngsters out of the nest that they might learn to use their wings, that the time has come. And our young charges will do likewise, recognizing that they can, indeed, “fly.”
Edward L. Bernays said it better than I could ever hope to in his 1961 book, “A Definitive Study of Your Future in Public Relations”: “As in most other vocations, the necessary ingredients for growth are hard work, experience, and learning.”
That’s the beautiful part of our profession…the ability to teach others to rely on their own resources for growth and success. We’ll always be there in the background, of course. But it’s their future, and it starts today.
Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, is Associate Professor of Communication (Undergraduate) at Curry College in Milton, MA. He also is Visiting Lecturer, Organizational and Professional Communication (Graduate), at Regis College in Weston, MA. Prior to his move into academia, Kirk practiced nonprofit and government public relations and marketing for more than 35 years in the US as well as Asia. Accredited by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Kirk previously served as a Member of PRSA’s national Board of Directors and has held leadership positions with PRSA Educators Academy and PRSA Northeast District as well as with the Boston and Hawaii PRSA chapters.