In honor of Veteran’s Day, I wanted to take a minute and talk about my awesome father, and what he taught me about PR. My dad served in the U.S. Air Force for over 20 years and recently retired and he’s a fountain of advice and even though he has ZERO Public Relations experience, he has given me great advice that I wanted to pass on to you today, in his honor.
- Courage: This is a BIG one my dad has in spades. He has served several tours in the Middle East and Eastern Europe and he has faced serious danger, but he always has courage. He always taught me the thing about courage is not to be foolish or boastful, but to face up to your fears and make your dreams happen. As a young PR pro, it may be hard to speak up in meetings or volunteer to take on a bigger project, but it may be the best thing you ever did. You just have to have courage.
- Perseverance and/or Endurance: My father went through basic training over 2 decades ago, but he still remembers the grueling drills and workouts, the 4AM wakeup and mile-long runs with heavy equipment. Not to say PR is anything like basic, but your internship or job can start to get very stressful in the day-to-day grind. Account management, juggling clients, chasing journalists, dodging meetings, etc. it can sometimes feel like a 2-mile endurance course and my dad taught me that even though it feels like the day never ends, just keep your end-goal in sight and the finish line will come into view.
- Humility: Looking at my dad, you would never be able to tell all of the amazing things he did for this country: desert storm, operation Iraqi Freedom, Kosovo…he has medals and honors and raised 4 children in between tours of duty. BUT he always maintains his humility. He taught me it never serves you to brag, but to let your work speak for itself and remember, the loudest voice is sometimes the weakest ally.
That’s all I have for you today, if you know a veteran, call them, give them a hug and let them know you appreciate everything they have done. My dad may have NEVER pitched a tough journalist, he has never had to brainstorm until he was blue in the face. What he has done is endured incredible hardships and put his life on the line for this country. We’re both soldiers, just on different battlefields. Love you dad.