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The Business of Persuasion: Harold Burson on Public Relations Kindle Edition
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Mr. Burson has plenty of advice for prospective PR practitioners. For instance, decide on your career early, develop good writing skills, learn to listen, cultivate networks of like-minded pros, take calculated risks and know the business top to bottom.
Early on, the author describes important personal characteristics like adapting quickly to new environments, always telling the truth and understanding customer requirements thoroughly. A large part of PR work involves convincing the client to embrace a specific course of action.
An old saying tells the story completely. "A man (person) convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." A good PR person not only gets agreement but also secures a complete understanding of the chosen course/alternative by the client.
The author explains that there is no such thing as international public relations. Rather, companies implement strategies on a country-by-country basis. Social norms, values, linguistics and many other aspects of living overseas do not lend themselves to uniform approaches for problem solving. The idea of maintaining a common PR culture globally is an extremely difficult task to accomplish.
Overall, "The Business of Persuasion.." by Harold Burson is a very complete guide on the dynamics of applying solid PR principles in a host of complicated and highly variable business contexts. Listening skills are paramount as are writing skills and the ability to empathize with the client.