Dennis fresh faced and enthusiastic!

I started my public relations career as a bright eyed 19 and 3/4 year old after a brief stint in journalism. You could say I was catapulted into PR as the newspaper had closed down.

Interesting, as a young aspiring journalist I had a low opinion of PR people who we derisively called ‘the gin and tonic men’. There were very few females in PR in those days although one of the joint managing directors of the consultancy I joined was a female – Esta Handfield.

I was only marginally keen at the interview (which had been organised by my mum because I was out of work) until John Handfield explained what PR was all about and how it worked. John must have had a silver tongue as I exclaimed at the conclusion of his explanation, what a fantastic job.

I have held that view ever since.

Public relations is a fantastic job. It is demanding, all consuming, fascinating and if you do it right, it works like no other means of communication.

All of the above has been motivated by the fact that I have just been elevated to status of Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, which started me thinking about how it all began.

It also makes me wonder what would have happened if silver tongued John Handfield hadn’t spent the time to describe what PR was and how it worked back in October 1957.

Perhaps, he also had an enthusiasm for public relations.