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Lessons I learned from Howard Bragman

Will Armstrong

Armstrong Public Relations

As I reflect on the life and legacy of my friend and mentor, Howard Bragman, I find myself reflecting on all of the lessons he taught me. From instilling in me a sense of professionalism to imploring me to take care of myself, his wisdom has been an integral part of my professional development. Over the years, I’ve come to realize how important those words were—and still are.

It's PR, Not the ER!

One of Howard’s most memorable sayings was “It’s PR (public relations), not the ER!” He was referring to those who rush around with their hair on fire, trying desperately to make up for mistakes or mask laziness. His message here was clear: don’t fall for it. Instead, focus on doing things right the first time and take time to do them correctly. That way you can avoid unnecessary stress and truly become an asset to your team.

Make Yourself Crucial To The Office

Howard also taught me that in order to be successful professionally, you have to make yourself indispensable. He told me that if I wanted people to recognize and respect my work ethic and contributions then I had to find ways to make myself essential within my department or organization. A great way to do this is by finding tasks that people don't enjoy doing (or don’t want to do) and learning how to love those tasks so that you can become a valuable asset instead of just another employee in the mix.

You Have To Be Your Own Publicist

Another piece of advice Howard gave me was about self-promotion: “You have to be your own publicist!” This means making sure that people know when you are working hard or achieving success – don’t just keep it quiet! He stressed that self-promotion isn’t bragging; it’s good business because it shows people what kind of value you bring as an individual contributor or member of a team.

Creativity Is Key!

Finally, one thing that Howard always pushed me towards was creativity – both personally and professionally. He encouraged me (and others) to constantly strive for growth by learning new skills, networking with other professionals in our field, and staying up-to-date with current trends in our industry. In other words, never rest on your laurels; keep pushing forward so that you can remain creative and competitive within your chosen field or specialty.

Howard Bragman may no longer be with us but his spirit lives on through all the lessons he taught me and so many young publicists over the years. From reminding us all not to fall for those running around with their hair on fire at work and teaching us how important it is to make ourselves invaluable assets within our departments or offices–to encouraging us to learn new skills every day so we can stay competitive – these are all lessons that will stay with me throughout my career. For these reasons (and more), I will forever be grateful for having known such an inspirational mentor like Howard Bragman. Rest in peace!


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