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Maya Angelou, She. Made. Every. Word. Count. #BlackHistoryMonth

Marguerite Annie Johnson was a powerful and yet elegant communicator.

She. Made. Every. Word. Count.

Marguerite, aka Maya Angelou, communicated her ideas in a remarkably sincere way. Her incredible ability to connect with readers, listeners or members of her audience so often left them feeling deeply moved. Those audiences felt that Maya’s words and messages were solely intended for them.

In some ways this is the holy grail for PRs: communicating so effectively that every member of the audience feels that the message is from the heart – and intended for their ears and eyes only.

An acclaimed poet, novelist and musician Maya Angelou had many strings to her brilliant bow. And as a speechwriter, editor and essayist she was a straight-talker and a bridge-builder too. She used the power of words not just to illustrate societal imperfections and ills. But to find common ground.

Like PRs, her words can still promote new relationships, nurture old ones, and heal fractured alliances.

She delivered her messages with honesty and integrity. This is so crucial to communications and PR professionals seeking to build trust. Particularly at a time when misinformation to paraphrase Angelou – ‘with its bitter twisted lies’, seems to be on the rise.

Indeed, in the words of Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

For PRs working tirelessly to persuade, influence and inspire publics – these words may have a particular resonance.

And for brands, institutions and corporations there is something to be said for the enduring importance of authenticity.

Maya Angelou had this in abundance.

Often, ‘On The Pulse of Morning’, I think I can still hear her words.

Join the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn using the following hashtags to support the celebration of black pioneers of PR and communicators from history:

#BlackHistoryMonth #BHM

#BlackHistoryMonthPR #BHMPR

 

Guest blog by Mark Burey, Head of Communications at The Alan Turing Institute (originally published as Always ‘on the pulse’ – Maya Angelou and exceptional communicator by Mark on LinkedIn).