Listening in PR
There is so much noise around us. From the moment you wake up, you can hear the alarm ringing then you most probably play some music or your favourite radio/ TV programme while you try to get ready for the new day. Then you leave the house and get in the car, bus or tube. While you are on your way you are exposed to so many ads and messages but at the same time, people around you convey to you other information that you usually try to understand. And then you want to stay up to date with the news so most probably you’ll read to see what happened meanwhile in the world. Finally, you’ll arrive at work and (as a PR practitioner) you will start to send messages, to communicate with your stakeholders and to make your company heard. But what about listening? Are you really listening to others? Part of this job is to learn how to listen. It is so important to be aware of what other people say. Though, not only aware but really understanding their needs. It’s like any other relationships. If you want to build strong relationships with others, besides talking, you need to listen. It’s like a normal dialogue, and this is what PR people want to have with key stakeholders, a real dialogue. As Grunig and Hunt (1984) said, in Managing Public Relations, that two-way symmetrical communication is the best way to communicate.
So do you have skills for listening as well as you have for communicating? If not, try to be an active listener. There are already so many techniques and tools to help you how to be a good listener.