A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I took a road trip to Boston. It was kind of an impromptu trip. I mean we had hotel reservations and such, but Boston was a destination that we just thought would be cool and didn’t really look into very much besides the hotels and how to get there.
So, after a stop in Latham, New York for the night, we woke up pretty early and pulled into Boston around 11:00 a.m. Parking in a parking garage that took us around 20 minutes to find and that was way too expense, we just wanted to go explore, the only problem was we had no idea where anything was.
Standing on a corner about a block away from the parking garage, we both had our smart phones out searching our GPS apps for a way to find the harbor. Just as we were about to cross the street to go to who knows where, a voice behind said, “What are you looking for?” We turn around to find a stout, aging business man in his suit and tie holding his briefcase and presumably on his lunch break. We told him we were looking for the harbor. This is when the amazing part happened. This business man basically recited the cliff notes version of everything we need to know about how to get around the city of Boston and how to do it efficiently because we told him we were only in town for one day. This guy knew everything! He said he was going to write a book about his own version of the Freedom Trail because the original takes too long and had too many zig zags. He knew what ferries to take to get to get to other parts of the city and the most direct routes to everything else worth seeing. He even named a few places for food at the different places he was telling us about. Someone was obviously looking out for my boyfriend and I, two of the probably most inexperienced tourists in Boston, because we ending up having a great time!
Sitting on the ferry on the way back from seeing the U.S.S. Constitution, I was thinking about how it amazing it was to run into that man and how even more amazing it was to hear how much he knew and loved his city. It got me thinking that was pretty much the definition of public relations happening in real life, in person, right in front of me.
PRSA defines public relations as, “Public relations helps and organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.” That is exactly what that man did for me. He immediately in the quick five to ten minutes we stood on that street corner with him adapted me to the city of Boston. He made me so excited to be in that East Coast town.
My view on this whole situation is that we have to remember that is what we are doing in public relations. By being honest, creative, and personable, we can do our jobs in public relations well. I think every PR firm needs a “my Boston business man” working for their clients.