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August 28, 2013
Dr. King's Speech for the Ages
 
We're not the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But his "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered 50 years ago today during the March on Washington for civil rights, was one of the greatest public relations events in history. (Bayard Rustin's meticulous planning of the march was part of its successful impact.) We all have sentiments we want to express truly and well, if not nearly as eloquently as Dr. King did. Feel them deeply, one can advise, then think in rhythms of the soul and the human spirit. 
 
The words "I have a dream" did not appear in Dr. King's prepared text.  He felt them as the huge crowd and the epic nature of the occasion moved him. That was just as Mahalia Jackson cried out, halfway through the speech, "Tell them about the dream, Martin!" Ragan's PR Daily adds five other rhetorical lessons for speechwriters that are inspired by Dr. King's speech. Bless the man, his presence and his memory. 

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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