During the PRSA National Assembly, Chair-Elect Mark McClennan was outlining his hopes for the association and the industry in 2016. Top amongst his desires for next year: to remove the “I went into PR because I hate math” mantra from our discussions. There was an audible groan in the room of 200+ people, me included.
Now, I certainly didn’t select this career choice solely on that concept, but there have been many (many) times over the years where I have said those words and thought nothing of it.
Mark’s reasoning for wanting this gone is a solid one – PR professionals report into business leaders, owners of companies, CEOs of major corporations, etc., who spend a great deal of time analyzing, reviewing, predicting, balancing and spending. All having to do with math. How do we expect to be taken seriously as a profession and as counselors to our organizations if we proudly proclaim “we hate” something that is so important to the organizations we serve?
PR professionals don’t have to like math, but we certainly have to embrace it. We are being asked more and more to evaluate our success with solid numbers, numbers that we can help establish when we are part of the goal-setting discussions and embrace the numbers.
I made a promise to Mark that I for one will stop saying it – how about it, will you promise that, too?