PR encouraged to use brain power for good news

I have been moved by reading the amazing story of Scott Adams – the creator of the brilliant Dilbert. Scott suffers from Spasmodic Dysphonia which affected his ability to speak.  Taking a positive and creative attitude, Scott appears to have reprogrammed neural connections in his brain to recover his voice.  Fascinatingly, it was use of language, including nursery rhyme, that helped.  I wish Scott well.

In public relations, you need to understand what makes other people tick to be a successful communicator.  Yet how many of us really appreciate the power of the human mind?  I gained a personal insight when my father was ill in 2003.  He suffered brain haemorrhaging and lost his sight.  I believe that, in addition to the magnificent medical treatment he received in hospital in France, it was the stimulation provided by the family that helped him make a full recovery.  We played him music, tested his memory, engaged in conversation and put photographs and cards around the room (even though he couldn’t see them).  This bemused the French, but we believed it would help stimulate his brain to recover.

This made me wonder why hospitals – particularly neurology wards – are so gloomy and quiet.  Sensory stimulation should be provided to maximise the potential of the human brain to heal itself.

The benefits of positive input are important to use as individuals and for our wider society.  Nothing good comes out of having a permanentaly negative attitude – which is that seen in most media, government and corporate communications.  Like Scott, I’m championing “good news days” – let’s highlight achievements and enable people to take charge of making the world better.  Every day can be a good day, if only we make it so.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

3 thoughts on “PR encouraged to use brain power for good news”

  1. I was sorry to read about your father, I hope he recovered his site too. I don’t believe you can under-estimate the power of stimulation in these circumstances, how very rewarding for you all. I find increasingly that you have to be your own doctor.

    I visited the neuro-critical unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital recently. My friend who died, her husband had an accident at the hospital after being called there when she took a turn for the worse and he suffered an extensive head injury. He was there for nearly 10 days, hence the delay in her funeral. I visited him the day he had been told about her death by doctors, I found that he appreciated talking and being stimulated, despite the tragic circumstances.

    He was a very heavy drinker himself and said he has now given up as a result of Sue’s death. Sue’s best friend faces a similar fate, she has just been stopped for drink driving and was 4 times over the limit – and before lunch. We have brains, we need to use them, and respect them.

  2. Absolutely – our brains are our most prescious asset. One of the reasons why I dislike recreational drugs (legal and illegal) is that the best way to have a good time is to learn how to get the good vibes from your brain naturally. Then you can get the buzz anytime you want – and be happy on your own account. All the current stories about celebs such as Robbie Williams and Britney are so depressing in that these people have everything supposedly in life, yet don’t know how to make themselves happy.

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