In a field driven by storytelling, passion drives public relations. This is something I’ve especially noticed during my time with Relief Communications, LLC., a small public relations firm in Philadelphia working within the nonprofit sector.
As the firm’s only intern, I’ve completed a variety of projects for clients such as Mural Arts Philadelphia, Historic Philadelphia, Inc., and Prevention Point Philadelphia. Working with clients so closely intertwined with Philadelphia’s rich culture and community, I’ve noticed a key principle that all of the firm’s successful clients have in mind — the role passion plays in the work of productive public relations.
One experience that highlights this is my time working with Jane Golden, the executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia. Golden, who has been with Mural Arts since its inception in 1984, is a pillar of optimism in the field of public art. Listening to Golden speak at press events and mural unveilings is indicative of her passion for civil discourse, especially discussions centered in the power of art. Passion reaches far in project execution but serves just as importantly in promoting the project’s outcomes. Leaders like Golden are essential parts of successfully delivering results within a promoted event, as her passion speaks for itself. Nonetheless, recognizing the importance of a public relations practitioner’s passion is also a catalyst for successful PR practices.
I’ve also worked directly under the supervision of Cari Feiler Bender, founder and president of Relief Communications. One of Feiler Bender’s main pillars of success for her firm is the power of passionate intent. Feiler Bender states, “When I begin every day believing in what my clients do, I tell better stories.” And to recognize passion and a commitment to achieve as the foundation of a public relations practitioner’s success is to also identify what propels public relations at its source every day — the desire to share stories. Passion is an essential component of successful public relations, because passion translates between the storytellers and the story listeners.
Working in public communication leads practitioners to different stories, tasks and responsibilities every day. But to be successful in the field of public relations, and to produce tangible results for clients, a devotion and excitement to advocate for the client is essential in reaching success.
Anne Cleary is a junior public relations major with a minor in communication and activism at Temple University. Anne joined Temple PRSSA in September 2018 and has participated in the community service committee each semester. She was the secretary for Temple PRSSA for the 2019–2020 school year and currently serves as the director of community service for the 2020–2021 academic year. Anne has a strong passion for activism and community relations and hopes to one day enter the field of nonprofit public relations. Anne currently interns at Relief Communications, LLC.