the power of passion
Passion is an extraordinarily powerful spring. Without it, religion, history, romance, and art are useless. Likewise, Public Relations also completely deflates without the essential ingredient of Passion. It demonstrates avowed belief, undying appeal, and unwavering loyalty. So why does passion become so much more important in the public relations business compared to any other service industry?
To convert others to your way of thinking, it is essential to be a believer first. That’s when you can take a compelling stand with people of different attitudes, perceptions, and sensibilities. It takes obsessive faith in your client’s philosophy and business and your own organizational vision to be able to convey it through the written and spoken word in such a way that its effervescence is delivered undiluted.
Whether it’s the body language of a public relations professional sitting across the table, a written document or presentation; it is the passion that communicates. Without passion, there is no story to sell!
In a public relations agency, passion must become a management mission, a daily task undertaken by the head of the organization, team leaders and managers, allowing it to spread contagiously throughout the organization. Percolating through the agency, passion needs to show through even the most mundane tasks the organization performs.
the zeal of purpose
“Many people have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not achieved through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose. In a self-made organization that grows from the ground up, where the milestones of the early years are just survival, over time the purpose often gets diluted. This usually happens due to a lack of solid foundations or a lack of attention to the basics.
Starting with the right basics is more than half the battle won. When we started Blue Lotus, we started with four fundamental principles; First of all, having a complete focus on the client’s business goals and not on the money the client was paying. The money would just be a by-product, we said. We believed that if we did our job well, there would be enough and more by-product to go around. Second, even at the starting point we decided that Blue Lotus would be jointly owned, with each person sharing the benefits of growth and responsibilities proportionately.
The next founding principle was to continually foster creative friction in our people. We argued that creativity was not the intellectual property of anyone, and unless we fostered healthy friction, we would stagnate. The fourth principle and most sacred belief that we instilled in ourselves was to maintain the highest level of ethics in all our professional transactions.
For an organization to have a common purpose, a vision of common destinations is essential. Common purpose is easy to maintain when it’s a small organization working out of a single location, but as the company grows geographically and numerically, this common purpose is often diluted. To ensure that the purpose of the organization remains pure, it is necessary that sufficient time is devoted to each new induction, instilling in them the principles, beliefs, and ethos of the organization. Reviewing this purpose frequently is also critical to ensuring an unadulterated sense of purpose throughout decades of organizational life.
In a public relations consultancy, the need for strict adherence to its purpose can often be the deciding factor in its success. One needs to zealously believe not only in the purpose of their own organization, but also in that of their customers. And aligning with the vision of client organizations is not always an easy task. Perhaps this is where customer due diligence is a useful tool to ensure you don’t enroll customers with views that conflict with yours. The courage to say NO to prospects without a culture that aligns with your own beliefs can help your organization’s purpose stay vibrant and alive despite growth or geographic expansion.
Passion with Purpose – a winning combination
Even separately, these two, passion and purpose, are extremely powerful tools for building the foundation of a strong agency, but used together, they can make the agency completely unassailable. Firm belief in your organizational vision and use of the principles of Passion and Purpose are just a starting point. To guarantee a work model, this vision must be filtered from above and carried out in each action of the organization.
The advantages of starting from the bottom cannot be underestimated. It’s like having a blank canvas, lots and lots of paint and your creativity. Don’t let your passion for coloring the canvas consume all the paint, and don’t let your purpose of painting hold back your creativity either. Using a judicious combination of the two, think like Da Vinci would before painting the Madonna or Michelangelo before turning a block of stone into a stunning lifelike image of David.
Let this guide you and you will not only see your agency grow and prosper, but you will also see an aura of halo about your organization that attracts people and clients to your business.
The author is the CEO of Blue Lotus Communications, one of the fastest growing PR agencies in India (www.bluelotuspr.com). He is also an active blogger and has his own blog called http://PublicRelationsIndia.blogspot.com