Giving Thanks in PR

As 2019 is drawing to a conclusion, we’re entering a season in which we focus a lot on our family, friends and appreciating everything we’re thankful for. Despite the weather, this really is one of my favorite times of the year. Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday, I think because it feels so authentic – it really is about reflecting upon the people and things in your life that you’re thankful for, and spending time with those who are important to you. In the spirit of the season, I’d like to share a few of many things I’m thankful for as a PR practitioner.


As someone who has both been a mentee and continues to be a mentor, I am thankful for the relationships that are built and strengthened through mentoring. I encourage all PR pros, especially those who are newer to the field, to seek out a mentor. Being a mentor doesn’t have be a super formal thing – it’s really just being there for someone when they are going through the challenges of entering the professional world and helping them put their best foot forward. I’ve learned so much from people I consider mentors, including Shelly Najor, Tammy Battaglia, Dave Olejarz and many more. These are people I’ve turned to when I wasn’t sure how to proceed, and I am very thankful for their ongoing guidance and support.


When thinking through this list, this is actually one of the things that came to mind first. In the nearly six years since I graduated from Wayne State, there have been many times when I encountered a challenging situation and thought, “Well, this isn’t something I learned in school.” I’m thankful for those situations, even when they are stressful and the answer in how to handle them isn’t immediately clear. Being outside of our comfort zone is how we grow – professionally and even personally. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. Look at every challenge you encounter as an opportunity to learn and grow. Be thankful for that opportunity and make the most of it.

Support of the Chapter

We recently had our annual meeting at The Community House in Birmingham, and I had an absolute blast, as always. Just being in a room with the rest of our chapter always makes me happy. I can literally feel the positive energy – it’s contagious. I think those who are drawn into this profession are naturally compassionate and caring people. I certainly see those qualities commonly in our members. Our committees work together to create value for all, and that is accomplished by supporting one another. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be part of the chapter and to have a network of truly outstanding people.

I hope you take some time to reflect upon the people and things in your life that you’re thankful for. In our 24/7 lives, we have to move quickly and rarely do we take any real downtime. Be sure to spend time with your loved ones, and dare I say it – put your phone on airplane mode. Just be thankful and appreciate the moment with them. Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jeff Adkins is a public relations specialist with Henry Ford Health System, and a member of both PRSA National and PRSA Detroit.

Feature picture from pexels