It’s an accidental tradition around here that the email I write the week before Christmas focuses more on meaningful moments in life than PR. This one covers both.
The story began in October when I interviewed Jane Kuhuk, one of my Inner Circle members. I wanted listeners to hear Jane’s story of continuing her PR career during the invasion of her homeland.
She told us about waking up in the early morning hours of Feb. 24th in her Kyiv apartment to air raid warnings. She talked about laying on the floor in dread, and then forcing herself to turn on music and dance to snap out of it. We listened anxiously as she shared her experience escaping on a train to western Ukraine, then making her way through Poland, to Finland, and finally to Greece. She expressed her concern for her father, who remains at home because he doesn’t want to risk losing his job. And throughout all of this she continued, and continues still, to manage PR for a company that does contract training for lawyers.
I cannot imagine trying to practice PR against the backdrop of such destruction and uncertainty. It takes a kind of resilience, optimism, and determination most people don’t have. And when you see someone who does, like Jane and so many of her valiant fellow Ukrainians, you can’t help but wish big and wonderful things for them.
In the grand scheme of geopolitics, what happened next is probably a pretty small development. But to you, it’s different. You know how much energy and hope and effort goes into our PR work, and that’s why you’ll see it differently.
You’ll see it as a bona fide PR miracle.
Back when I introduced Jane on that webinar, I made an offhand remark that she “also has a tech startup client on the side,” a Ukrainian company that’s in the very early stages of developing AI-driven prosthetic limbs.
And then a few weeks ago, I saw this:
Yep, that’s Jane’s client on the cover of TIME!
She submitted the application while fleeing the city where she made her career and while Russian troops occupied her hometown where her parents lived.
Here’s hoping that Jane’s triumph inspires you in the battles you’re fighting, in PR and in life. Whether you believe it’s the Universe or God or a little bit of both, Jane’s story is a good reminder that sometimes good things happen just when you need them the most.
Hurray for Jane! Glory to Ukraine!
And merry Christmas 😊
P.S. Here are some previous Christmas-week emails that resonated with readers:
“I don’t suck” – You’d be shocked at what many successful people really think of themselves.
A different Christmas “miracle” – Your power to lift others when they’re down.
Warning lights are flashing – What are your most important priorities? No, really.
This article was originally published on December 21, 2022
(I’ll also send you other weekly tips)