Good change at work

Doing well to do more good

Earlier this week the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand hosted a senior practitioners’ workshop, with the title “Doing well + doing good”.

There were five speakers during the day – David Raper from IBM, focusing on corporate citizenship and social responsibility, Sue McCabe from Community Comms Collective, talking about volunteering and helping others, me, talking about bringing our best communications game to hard social challenges, Kirsten Patterson from the Institute of Directors, talking about not-for-profit governance, and Savannah Peterson, talking about purpose and community.

It was a brilliant chance for us all to reflect on how to use our power for good.

My contribution was around being the best communication practitioner we can be. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the years, it’s that being good at this gig is hard.

“Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by attacking back” – Bill Novelli

Bill Novelli, one of the founders of Porter Novelli, said it well: problems worthy of attack prove their worth by attacking back.  This means that the big problems – the ones we really want to be tackling – are tough. And when you try to take them on, you will always meet with some resistance.

The best weapon we can possibly take to this fight is our best game – being absolutely excellent at what we do, every time.

This is about bringing our whole beings to our work: our brains, hearts and guts, as well as our arms and legs.  It takes guts to hold the mirror up to our organisaitons, and truly influence CEO, management and Board direction. It takes brains to figure out how to solve really tough social problems.  It takes heart to know what’s the right thing to do in tricky situations. And sometimes we need to be creative to bring in enough arms and legs to get the work done.

Here’s a handy-dandy chart I made, to sum it all up:

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 3.19.28 pm.png

If you want to know more, email me:

6 thoughts on “Doing well to do more good”

  1. I loved your talk, Tracey. Your chart is deceptively simple and so powerful. I described it to a colleague who also found it compelling – even beyond PR, any professional would be well served by this great tool! Thank you!


  2. You’ve captured one of the essential elements of what makes PR such a great field in which to work, Tracey. Thanks for putting your mind to this and producing a really useful table in your blog piece


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