Your Career and You…"Just Rewards" are not "Just Rewards"

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try { var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-13189095-1”); pageTracker._trackPageview(); } catch(err) {} I had the pleasure last night of attending and participating in Curry College‘s annual Awards Night where the hard work of both students and faculty was recognized and celebrated.

Listening to the background on awardees’ activities and accomplish-ments, I was struck by the overriding message of genuine dedication, belief in a purpose, and absolute commitment these folks have demonstrated. And I’m willing to bet that not one single one of them started out saying “I’m going to do this so that I’ll get a cool plaque in the future.”

Nope. I honestly feel that each person, student or teacher, was just doing what felt right to him or her. But the neat thing is that, at the end of the day, they were, indeed, recognized…and got a cool plaque!

We all like the feedback telling us that what we’ve devoted countless hours of energy and effort to was worthwhile. But students, in particular, need to understand that this is a significant milestone in their professional development.

It’s not “just a reward” for doing something right…the proverbial gold star that you got in grade school for remembering to raise your hand to get permission to go to the bathroom.

It truly is your just reward for demonstrating to others…and yourself… your belief in a cause, whatever it may be, and your determination to make a difference.

I presented the Curry College Communication Department‘s “Public Relations Award” last night to a young man…a Communication major with a double concentration in Theatre and Public Relations… graduating senior Brendan Cawley.

This award was a tribute to Brendan’s incredibly enthusiastic embrace of the virtues extolled by Edward L. Bernays (for some of us, the “Father of Public Relations”) in his wonderful book, “Your Future in Public Relations.”

Mr. Bernays had this to say: “Character, integrity, and a logical objectivity in the individual practitioner are the really essential attributes of any public relations man worthy of the name.

The public relations man must want to help people. Objective and logical though he is, unless he has at bottom a deep interest in people, organizations, and movements, and wants to give them aid in achieving a social purpose, something will be lacking in the relationship between him and his clients…”

Brendan has clearly shown his instinctive grasp of Mr. Bernays’ observations in all that he has done while studying at Curry. And he will continue after graduation to amaze all of us with his drive, determination, and sense of professionalism.

These are just rewards

…For us, as faculty, to see the results of four years of our efforts to ensure an excellent college education for the young men and women who entrust themselves to our wisdom and guidance.

…For you, as students, to see that what you do and how you do it are both seen and appreciated…and are one of the first significant building-blocks in the evolution of your life and your career.

Or, as Mr. Bernays also says: “To sum up, public relations does not mean selling a product, an idea, or a personality. Instead, it depends fundamentally on doing — action and deeds that are geared to public understanding and acceptance. Words are only incidental to the process.”


About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 20 years' undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience. Community and media relations expertise, as well as a fanaticism for quality service and customer satisfaction. PR for healthcare and member services organizations ranging from Blood Bank of Hawaii to Medical Area Service Corporation to Boston Harborfest. Consulting services for Manila and Singapore Red Cross.
This entry was posted in careers, Communication, Curry College, feedback, public relations. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Your Career and You…"Just Rewards" are not "Just Rewards"

  1. Nice article. Haven't thought much about Edward L. Bernays in years. We live in an era when "everything is on the Web", cyberspace is where we "friend" each other and all our knowledge will soon be stored in the "cloud." As we scramble to fill the expanding media void with words — 24/7 cable, blogs, PRNewswire, online publications — it seems has content has become reality. Edward L. brings it all back to earth, reminding us of what public relations is: "action and deeds that are geared to public understanding and acceptance. Words are only incidental to the process."" Thanks for the reminder and best wishes to Brendan Cawley who embraces those core principles.


  2. Thanks, Dick. I'm comforted by the knowledge that there is a future generation of public relations professionals on the doorstep to our "world." And, hopefully, they fully understand the significance of "action and deeds."There is hope!


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