This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!
A rant on the word “free”: freeing, or limiting?
I had a great week today. In a few weeks I am going to start working with a returning client and in working on the strategy to prepare, I felt I was in flow. Completely in flow, and that all the clients I have right now are in complete alignment with who I am. It’s a great feeling, and one I can say I have never had in the existence of my company. Also having Yvonne to work with for the first full week, Conscious PR Inc. really feels like it is in full effect.
One of the stereotypes people have of PR pros is that we rub shoulders with celebrities or people in power and we therefore absorb that power by osmosis and have it to give to others. This can come in the form of getting friends into private parties, or free tickets to client events. And sometimes the latter is true; my client wants great attendance, and sometimes they will give me tickets for family and friends so they can attend.
This past week I was asked for free tickets to an event that is clearly not for profit; it made me wonder what my role looks like to others. If I am merely seen as someone who can hook you up, am I doing the true worldly work that I feel I was born to do — telling the story of the story behind the event in hopes that the media resonate with that message enough to tell their readers and viewers?
On the other hand, some of the best things have no monetary value. At every special occasion, Leo makes me a hand-drawn and written card. I still have his Valentine’s card by my bedside as it is still giving off too much light for me to put it in the book with the others.
Last night I was told by a great colleague that she admires me for the fact that I blog every day. It is great when I hear that people have read a post I’ve written. It is even more heartwarming to hear that someone admires me for my persistence.
Are the best things in life for free? Or does it depend on the meaning we attach to the word? I think the word free can be quite sacred. EVERYTHING we do is an exchange, except for the times when we are babies and toddlers and do not know how to fend for ourselves to survive. When we are capable, giving and receiving is mandatory. So anything received for free is an absolute gift. Perhaps things – whether objects or statuses – should never be demanded.
Be grateful for what you have. Never expect anything in return. Give what you can for free, and be thankful for when you receive.