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January 27, 2010
James Fallows Lays It on the Line

In PR, as much if not more than any other field, it's smart to step back periodically and think about how we're doing as a society -- what our root problems and opportunities are, what relational puzzles exist. How we're doing as a nation, a society, and a culture is the context for vocation.

An essay in the January/February Atlantic by James Fallows, "After the Crash: How America Can Rise Again" provides the basis for such prompting.

Fallows is back from a three-year stay in China, and his perception of the U.S. is that we're not disadvantaged against China but increasingly at risk from a seized-up, rancorous political/governmental system.    

The good news is America has always been perceived as being, in some way or other, at risk, but has proven continually capable of renewal. This time, though, the threat is squarely in our centers of power. (Though beyond the deadline for Fallow's piece, the Jan. 21 Supreme Court decision giving corporations unlimited scope for political contributions hasn't helped at all.)

What will bring renewal this time, and what's PR's role in that prospect? These are worthy questions to ponder during a thought break -- after reading Fallows' provocative piece. 


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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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