PRNEWS Asks: What is the Greatest Thanks You’ve Received in PR?

The media and communications industries buzzed about actress Da'Vine Joy Randolph's acceptance speech for best supporting actress at the Oscars on March 10. Randolph took time to thank her publicist at the microphone—something not normally heard at the event. In addition to "Barbie" actor Ryan Gosling's "I'm Just Ken" performance, the conversation swelled within the PR world on social media regarding the acknowledgment.

PR people so rarely get thanked on public stages—especially in the entertainment industry. On LinkedIn, Nicole Dye Anderson, SVP/Managing Director—Head of Corporate Communications, cards and merchant services at Wells Fargo, said not only was Randolph's speech powerful, but that "a simple thank you costs nothing, but means EVERYTHING."

Sonia Diaz, Founder and President of Zaid Communications, also commented on LinkedIn saying she believes gratitude is more about appreciation than recognition.

"I think that most PR people tend to want to be in the background, but we often feel the people we serve do not really appreciate what our work entails," Diaz wrote. "As such, very little consideration is taken for the time that it takes for us to execute things, the excessive number of personalities we often have to manage to accomplish those things, and the planning that it requires to get it right while also being prepared for any unforeseen circumstances and be able to pivot. Her acknowledgment of her publicist is understanding how ride or die an entertainment PR person has to be to make sure you are protected at all costs while being seen for your talents in the right light."

Greatest Recognition

PRNEWS posed a question for the communications community: "What's the best thanks you ever received?" From referrals to pastries, the results did not disappoint.

Working in B2B PR, there are a lot fewer opportunities for clients to be grateful in such a public way like this, but the best thank you's for me have been clients willing to recommend me to their industry friends and colleagues, or willing to serve as references. Another great thank you is when an internal comms leader makes sure to thank me in front of a CEO or other senior leader. That means a lot, as face time with these leaders is precious.

I had a pretty high-profile chef who would bring ME pastries and coffee when we had an early morning shoot or segment and then send me back to the office with goodies knowing there was a whole team working on his behalf.


When I was about a year into the field, I was tasked with organizing a new format of a yearly conference by myself. It involved many late nights, early mornings, no breaks, you name it. I was happy to do it because I knew how important it was to the organization, but I also considered it as just part of my job, so I didn't think too much of it. When the event finally rolled around, I was like a duck on water - calm, cool and collected to anyone seeing me, but on the inside, I was stressed, anxious and somewhat feeling like a fraud. The event went amazingly; I was proud of myself for pulling it together. But what I always remember about that event isn't the panic or "impostor syndrome" I felt the day of; it was the most beautiful bouquet that awaited on my desk from my supervisors the next day. I was just blown away and beyond thankful. I felt seen for all the behind-the-scenes work I did. I didn't need the recognition, nor was I expecting it. But it was definitely appreciated, and it made me cry some happy tears when I saw them.

Famous boxing promoter Don King did a monologue about me after I hosted an interview session with him and a group of reporters for a video game he was associated with:

When a client tells me, they see my team and me as an extension of their team!

I worked with an educator on a classroom feature. He was published 12+ times. He went on to be nominated for teacher of the year. He leater wrote a book on his classroom model, and thanked me for helping him tell his story in his forward

And while those working in PR certainly don't do it for the accolades, Nikki Balles, Director of Corporate Communications and PR at Spencer's, summed gratitude in PR perfectly: "appreciation is the currency of success."

Nicole Schuman is senior editor for PRNEWS. Follow her @buffalogal