Meet Riley | Dr. Seuss’s Lessons in Trust Building for Public Relations

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” As I begin my internship at Stanton Communications, this quote rings true. Although I’d like to attribute my interest in communications to something more profound, Dr. Seuss was a man ahead of his time. You may be thinking…how does Dr. Seuss relate to public relations?

Well, before becoming a famous author, he actually worked in advertising and public relations and launched a successful campaign for Standard Oil. Seuss, also known as Theodor Geisel, created an interactive experience with boat races, games and contests for adults. He used celebrity connections to garner more publicity and spread the word about the work that the Standard Oil Company was doing. After a career switch, he crafted the childhood books we know and love today. Reading his stories over the years has taught me valuable lessons that continue to shape my approach as a public relations professional.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Why trust is so important in public relations?

This famous tale is every PR professional’s worst nightmare: losing trust. No one trusted the Grinch, especially after he stole Christmas. Although trust was eventually restored in the story, clients in the real world are hesitant to work with an agency that isn’t honest. As a PR professional, fostering strong relationships with the media and your target audience hinges on the foundation of trust. Upholding moral standards and adhering to the Code of Ethics set forth by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) are essential aspects in establishing and maintaining the trust of your clients and the public.

Horton Hears a Who: PR Team Structure

This is one of my favorite stories from Dr. Seuss. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” From intern to chief executive officer, everyone plays an important role in a PR agency. Whether it’s brainstorming ideas to collaborating on a project for a client, each individual works together toward the same goal. In every team meeting, I learn something from someone that pushes me to improve. Working as a team helps the agency grow while we create excellent work for our clients together.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: The Importance of Stakeholder Communication

Dr. Seuss’s fish come in various types and have different emotions and responses. Just as the fish don’t all think or perceive messages in the same way, we also have unique preferences and ways of understanding information. This also applies when communicating with different stakeholders: it’s important to recognize that they have diverse perspectives and interpretations. Effective communication requires careful consideration of how information is conveyed to your audience. PR agencies tell these stories by adapting their communication approach based on the audience and the nature of the message.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

The book discusses the journey of life, including its challenges and joys. This is just the beginning of my career in communications, but it’s important to remember to work hard and face the unpredictability of life according to Seuss. Nearly a year after moving to Washington, D.C., to pursue a master’s degree in public relations, I’m starting my internship with Stanton and looking forward to exploring and taking opportunities to progress to my fullest potential.

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