It is possible to talk politics and keep emotions at bay. I witnessed it firsthand when Phoenix PRSA’s Masters Practitioners group heard once again from Kim Owens. Kim is a public relations practitioner, a political strategist, and the executive director of the Dodie Londen Excellence in Public Service Series.
The Masters group had Kim join us as a speaker last spring, just a few weeks before she was leaving to represent Arizona at the Republican National Convention. Susan de Queljoe recapped that presentation for our blog.
Certainly much has transpired since we last heard from her. We elected a president who is an avid Twitter user. We have seen a revolving door in the communications office of the White House. The term “fake news” is tossed around on a regular basis. Violence, rioting and protesting are daily headlines.
So it may seem hard to believe that a group of passionate communicators could discuss the current state of affairs while keeping personal opinions and accusations out of the conversation.
But that’s exactly what happened.
Kim reminded us that although it may seem that we are facing a political climate unlike any other, all that has really changed over time is access to information. As far back as our political history goes, opposing sides have waged campaigns, shared propaganda (today’s #fakenews), went to war and argued about what is right for the people. What our forefathers didn’t have was social media and a 24-hour news cycle.
Access to information comes with great responsibility. You need to get your information from multiple sources in order to make as informed of a decision as possible. Our citizenry has every right to oppose, protest, picket and engage in the political process. And Kim says it all begins at the local grassroots level. If you don’t like the direction the country is going, find out who represents you at the local level and get involved with making a change.
It is no longer enough to just go to the polls and vote.