As a global pandemic continues to impact us and we begin to show some signs of recovery, we have yet to recover from what divides us. We have seen peaceful protests and calls for change, as well as unrest, grip our nation in the past week. Some very close to home.
I do not pretend to know what it is like, but I do hope for peace. Forgiveness. Resolution.
I do not pretend to know the answers, but I do know as public relations practitioners we know the power of communication — written, verbal and non-verbal. But not communication just to talk, but to listen, to understand. We need to be open. Raw. Honest. And we need to take action.
We hear the pleas for justice and we cannot be silent. We need to communicate. Embrace our differences. Champion diversity, inclusion, equity, and equality regardless of thought, cultures, disciplines, ideals, gender, disabilities, sexual orientation and age.
PRSA Orlando proudly stands united with our Black members, colleagues and friends. Communicators — let’s do what we do and make a difference. Together. Change the world for now and for future generations. It begins with you. With me.
PRSA Chair T. Garland Stansell, APR, challenges us in his letter to members that although “communicators cannot single-handedly change the tide in our country, we can be a conduit to lead others to acknowledge the importance of using their voices in constructive ways — ways that help to move us through these troubling times and beyond to become better individually and as a society.”
We are challenged to use our voices to stand for those who are hurt and frustrated. Now, more than ever, we also need to listen to those voices to help guide us in our action so that we may continue to further diversity, inclusion and civility in our organization.
We’re still in conversation as a board to figure out the best way to support, and we welcome feedback from our members. Please reach out if you would like to share ways in which our organization can serve.
Rich Donley, APR
2020 President, PRSA Orlando Regional Chapter