I read an interesting article in yesterday’s New York Times about a study done by Robert Emmons, of the University of California, Davis, and Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami on “the attitude of gratitude.” It seems they have evidence that when people are grateful, they are healthier, sleep better, are less anxious, and act more kindly to others, including their “significant others.” In the spirit of providing readers with a calmer Thanksgiving weekend with family members, I’d like to list some reasons for people in public relations to be grateful:
- PR people have become the go-to professionals for social media relations. In order to keep up with the fast pace of change in communications in general, we had no choice.
- Our need to keep up with what’s happening online has actually made many of us who were previously considered technologically challenged into technology early adopters. (I would have laughed at anyone who predicted this 20 years ago!).
- Unlike our brethren in the communications industry with advertising backgrounds, we have been holding up fairly well in this weak economy.
- Our profession has never had more potential for growth than it does now. I’ve been hearing anecdotal evidence of public relations being elevated in many companies to report to the CEO.
- It has become easier and cheaper to measure the value of what we do. That surely must be an important factor in the previous reason to be grateful.
Professors Emmons and McCullough advise people to start cultivating an attitude of gratitude by keeping a journal listing five things they are grateful for. These can be small things – a turkey that was neither dry nor undercooked, a winning football team, etc.
Five things I’m grateful for today:
- We have great clients from whom I learn something new all the time.
- My two sons flew home from the west coast to be with their family for the holiday.
- I’ve been able to be my own boss and keep my company running, even in tough times.
- My staff members are smart and often funny.
- The rain stopped; the forecast is sunny and relatively warm for November.
How about you? What are you grateful for?