PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

Why I Don’t Say “Busy”

Working with several different teams, there’s one word that really grinds my gears and that is said way too often: busy.

For starters, I looked up the real definition of the word. Nope, not from the Webster’s dictionary. Urban Dictionary has a great definition that really captures how I feel about it:

1. Busy. Attempting to seem important, and not being shy about it. I’m so busy that I can’t keep up with all my phone calls and e-mails. I am so important!

OK, I know this definition is a little extreme and over-exaggerated, but it emphasizes my point.

Today, and for the past couple of days, I did a little experiment. Whenever I asked some friends and co-workers how everything was going, I started mentally keeping track of how many responses talked about how “busy” they were. Granted, it’s drawing upon finals week and I hang around a lot of over-achievers, but are we really that busy? And furthermore, are we really too busy to help out others?

I’ll be the first one to admit that I use the “b” word a lot. I wouldn’t go as far saying that the “b” word is offensive, but it’s close. Let’s face it – we’re all really, really busy. We balance jobs, professional associations, school and hopefully a social life. If everyone is doing so many things, is it really necessary to talk about how many things you do? I don’t think so.

While there are some points when I get frustrated or tired, I remember how lucky I am. Even though I have a lot of stuff to do, some things more fun than others, I really like what I do. And I’m honored that I get to have a job and leadership positions that often take priority over class. Don’t tell my professors I said that.

I’m quickly finding out that success in the public relations profession is based on networking. After all, it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know.. right? It’s important to keep in mind that when you scratch someones back, chances are they will eventually help you out at some point, too. This was one of the points discussed at our PRSSA Chapter’s PR vs. Journalist Discussion on Media Relations back in September. For PR people, this especially holds true with reporters. For every one reporter, there are a lot more PR practitioners. You can stand out amongst the crowd by being the one that helps people.

All in all, there aren’t that many people who are too busy to help out someone else. I know I’m not one of them.

Well, this will be as close as it gets for this blog to get into personal stuff. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I’ve got thanks on the mind. So, the next time someone asks you how things are going, think of a more unique answer than the “b” word.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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5 Responses

  1. I tell people that I’m “involved.” When people hear about all of my activities, I think they automatically assume that I’m busy.

    But like you, I love what I do. It doesn’t seem like a hassle and with good time management skills, being “involved” is a lot of fun and not too hard to manage.

  2. Ari Adler says:

    Good post Nick. It kills me when family will call me at work and say, “Are you busy?” Now I always answer, “Yes, but I can spare a minute.”

    I think “busy” has replaced the traditional “good” when people ask you the infamous rhetorical question, “How’s it going?” 🙂

  3. Jennie Ecclstone says:

    haha I must have missed this when I was on vacation but I totally feel you! I used to get outright mad when people would say that to me, especially when they were usually just “busy” with studying or really one activity in particular. As selfish as it was looking back I would ofern think how dare you complain to me how busy you are, do you have any idea what I do? But then like you said, I loved everything I did so to me I was just doing my thing and not “busy”… nice work 🙂

  4. Sarah says:

    Great post Nick. You are right in that we are all in charge of our own schedules and levels of involvement in “extracurriculars.” It can be frustrating or overwhelming at times, but for some of us staying “busy” is the only way we know how to function so why complain?

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