“True knowledge consists in knowing that you know nothing.” – Socrates
Philosophy, and social sciences, are intertwined in our careers; political science, sociology and psychology all play roles in the workplace. These areas, inspired and influenced by famous philosophers and scientists, are responsible for our thoughts and actions today. So many philosophical concepts and theories can be applied to communications and public relations.
Philosophy begins when one begins to doubt — when one begins to question accepted ideas and practices. Knowledge begins with inquiry, recognizing this is crucial for any inquiry to begin at all. When we realize how little we really know and begin to actually question and analyze, we build true knowledge.
PR lives in many areas and as we learn more about different fields of knowledge we become an expert in some. That is, you know more about the subject than all but a select few. And that it is what makes us better PR students and future professionals.
Take the great philosopher, Socrates, for example. Socrates was essentially executed for questioning and holding others accountable for their ignorance. He thought in a new, revolutionary way that threatened the norm at the time.
Public relations professionals can draw inspiration from Socrates by being inquisitive, holding others accountable and thinking outside of the box. Part of a public relations practitioner’s job is to be creative; sometimes creativity means deviating from the way things are normally done.
We can be better future professionals by admitting ignorance in certain areas and welcoming curiosity and knowledge in its place. Inquiry, ignorance, mobilized thoughts, curiosity, the love of knowledge—philosophy— will make us better public relations students.
Federico Forastier is 28 years old and currently living in Buenos Aires. He has experience from his time working in Corrientes government where he organized events, protected the image of the Security Minister, worked in internal communications and helped with both social media and press. His favorite topics are political communication, public affaira and digital social media. He currently serves on the publications subcommittee for PRSSA National. Outside of these pursuits, he is an amateur guitar player, a nature devotee and tennis lover.