Wednesday, June 21, 2017
A good deal of public relations is still the personal touch, the effort to meet people face to face and to hear them out. Politicians understand that and they make every effort to get down to where people live and work. I witnessed that recently when Congressman Jimmy Panetta presented World War II medals to my 100-year-old aunt who had served in England and France. He talked with my aunt for 20 minutes although he was on a tight schedule. His focus was on her and not the photographers in the room, of whom I was one. He related his own service in the Army to her and she to him. My aunt was a nurse who cared for soldiers wounded in battle as well as POW's. Panetta served as an intelligence office in Afghanistan. The time Panetta spent with her solidified a relationship with others in the room who are voters as well. He didn't have to show up. My aunt could have received her medals in the mail or through one of his staff, but he took the time and the personal touch. It was great public relations.