Incivility is damaging our lives and hurting our organizations. It impacts the quality of interaction within and across publics; the ability to frame issues and move agendas; to discern truths from lies, to collaborate, to contribute, and to conduct our respective businesses on a daily basis.
It hurts the bottom lines of public and private sector agencies and businesses that get caught in a perpetual cycle of ever-more hostile and damaging invective. And at every level, it can undermine the very foundations of our society and democracy.
As PRSA and PR professionals, we are uniquely qualified to take on incivility and make a meaningful and lasting difference at scale. We work across all levels of engagement and across all types of industries; operating at the company, community, city, state, national and global levels, with clients, customers, suppliers, media, social media, etc. We work and play a critical role in the commercial, government, education, social and non-profit sectors. We have the skills, tools, strategies, and creativity to educate, influence, lead, inform, change, counterbalance, and model thoughts, actions and behaviors. With a deliberate focus on advancing and improving civility within our existing work; we can provide a counterbalance. And with additional effort and work focused specifically on countering the corrosion of civility, we can be a powerful force for positive social change.
The time is now, the need is great, and the opportunity for PR professionals to dedicate our collective insight, expertise, platforms, and leadership roles toward turning the tides of incivility and restoring quality, integrity and inclusiveness to public discourse is in our hands. Start by reading the Civility Task Force White Paper on Modeling Civility and then explore how you can take action to model civility and improve civil discourse.