Why I (Somewhat) Disagreed: PublicityAsia Joyce Ramirez’s Speech

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“For everyone who loves you, there will be others who will hate you. If you do not elicit a reaction, then that means you’re irrelevant. So as long as there’s a response, whether positive or negative, means you have made an impact. And that’s the essence of what effective PR is all about.”

No question, I think Joyce Ramirez is talented, and I admire her to some extent. Admiration though, does not necessarily mean adulation or emulation.

If you follow her on Twitter, you will know that the woman’s character packs a punch. Maybe I judge too quickly based on her online persona, but she comes across as someone who is equal parts mean and charming. She knows how to stir a virtual debate – pressing the right buttons here and there to get her audience listening. 

Perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned from observing her strategy is it takes a very (how do I say it?) street-smart person to manipulate human nature. Despite how we strive to overcome our baser selves, the ghetto in everyone of us lies inside, waiting to be unleashed at the right moment by the person who knows what makes people tick. 

I’d like to think there is some truth to her morsel of advice, which goes: “For everyone who loves you, there will be others who will hate you. If you do not elicit a reaction, then that means you’re irrelevant. So as long as there’s a response, whether positive or negative, means you have made an impact.” But is eliciting a reaction enough to conclude that one has effectively executed a public relations strategy? 

It raises a few choice questions in my head: on the long term, is risking negative PR even worth it? And should PR, at times, be diplomacy’s worst enemy? I sincerely think it’s one thing to be secretly thinking nasty things, another to say it to a few close friends, and definitely a whole new level altogether when you scream it out loud and rally people behind you. 

I don’t mean to imply that we should all end up becoming hypocritical and act differently from who we are. And I don’t mean to say that it’s only important to highlight the good things. I sincerely think even negative feedback can be turned into a positive thing (just like what my former boss Amor Maclang repeatedly says: one just needs to properly frame one’s mind.) But to actively seek negative responses for the sake of creating impact doesn’t bode well, if you ask me.

 That being said, Joyce makes some really good points worth mentioning, such as:

  • Concentrate your forces. Makes a lot of sense to me. I think we as people just haven’t evolved enough to be good multitasking, yet. (This article seems to agree with me.) 
  • Increase your skills set. Working for Freelancer.com, which has grown exponentially over the last few years (we’re now at 7 million users – that’s one per one thousand people in the planet), has taught me this: the advent of freelancing has made 1.) able professionals accessible at a click of a button; and 2.) a lot of underperforming people easily dispensable. It’s now imperative to become multi-talented to add value to your organization, more so in this fast-changing world where paradigms become myth in a flash of a second. 
  • Be healthy. Fit people are productive people. It’s impressing to have people who understand that one’s physical and mental fitness is key to delivering well. When stress levels get too high at the workplace, do you know who ends up suffering from a stroke or heart attack? Your guess is as good as mine.

What do you think about her speech? I’d love to hear it.

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