René Descartes, one of the most important philosophers of modern thought, is famous for his phrase “I think, therefore I am”, but it is not a matter of temporal order, that first we do one thing and then another, but that the philosopher could replace “then” for “implies”, so, the correct formulation would be “we think and that implies that we exist”. What does all that have to do with being PR?
The relationship between existence, being and identity. We often work with organizations, brands or people, and we help them to evolve their brand identity, their purpose and main goals. This goes along that line of thought. And why do we advise that? Because we know, it has been proven, that it is one of the best ways to retain value, create a clear message and help the brand grow. Meaning being, existing.
It is exactly what we must do as professionals: think about our work, and also personal brands from the perspective of existence and being. It is one thing to say “I work in communication” and quite another to be able to say “I am a communicator”. Pure identity. James Clear, in his book “Atomic Habits” tells us that once a person believes in a particular aspect of their identity, they are more likely to act on that belief.
The author also says that “the only reason why we maintain and cultivate habits is because we make them part of our identity.” We can understand our profession in a similar way and “become” PR, make it a part of our identity not only as a 9 to 5 job. Then we can commit to it and make it become an integral part of who we are, our existence.
People are often inspired by those who have pushed their identity and being to the fullest: Lionel Messi, Michael Jordan, Paul McCartney or Pablo Picasso. Can you imagine the author of Guernica working on his work only during office hours or do you imagine him being an artist every day of his life, at all times? Can you imagine MJ saying that basketball is his way of making money or that competing and winning is his life? Do you think Lionel Messi became the G.O.A.T., kicking the ball the same amount of time that a child spends at school on a typical day? Or the Beatles clocking in and out at the Abbey Road Studios? I’m a painter, I’m a soccer player, I’m a winner, I’m a musician. It sounds much more convincing, strong and moving than my job is to paint, my job is to play soccer, my job is to play the guitar. History does not even remember those who separate their technique from their essence, from their being. History remembers and commemorates people who are all in one, all the time, in all places.
To conclude, the word identity is derived from the Latin terms essentitas, which means “to be ” or “to exist”, and identidem, which means “repeatedly”. Our identity is, literally, the repetition of existing. Our success as professionals will be in making PR a part of our identity, existing as PR or paraphrasing Descartes, “I AM PR, THEREFORE I EXIST”.
Federico Forastier is 30 years old and currently living in Buenos Aires. He has experience in government affairs, technology and economics and financial relations.
He worked in the government in institutional relations, managed social responsibility projects for Huawei, and is currently doing PR for ICBC.
In the PR field, his favorite areas are political communication, digital social media and diplomacy, through his admiration for philosophy, sociology and psychology. He is an amateur musician and guitar player, a nature devotee and tennis lover.