The State of Speeches in 2007

by Richard A. Lee

Many years ago, after I traded in my reporter’s notebook for a job in public relations, I discovered that it had become a little more difficult to explain just what I did for a living.

By and large, most people understand what reporters, school teachers, construction workers and police officers do in the course of a workday. But when the conversation shifts to press releases, talking points, op-eds, and pitching stories, the response frequently is characterized by blank stares and awkward silence. And that is usually what occurred if people asked me to explain what a job in public relations entailed.

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