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5 Nancy Reagan quotes to inspire PR pros

On Sunday, the former first lady died of congestive heart failure. She was 94.

Nancy was known for the grace and elegance that she brought to the White House while her husband, Ronald Reagan, was president. She was also remembered for her love for and fierce loyalty to him.

“It is a very sad day," Ken Duberstein, former chief of staff to Ronald Reagan, told NBC News. "Every time she was in the room, [Ronald] was better, and every time [Ronald] was in the room she was better. She brought a sense of class and dignity and elegance that everybody admired."

Many social media users turned to Twitter in memoriam, sharing many of Nancy Reagan’s quotations. Here are five from which PR pros can gain inspiration:

1. “I am a big believer that eventually everything comes back to you. You get back what you give out.”

Very true in so many ways! Much love and respect to Nancy Reagan #Quote #RIPNancyReagan

— Edie Uyesugi (@EMU8o8) March 6, 2016
Reagan’s maxim isn’t only an admirable way to live your life. PR pros who skirt ethical boundaries or seek to boost their influence or brands’ messages through shortcuts can find themselves in hot water when the truth comes out.

Conversely, brand managers who spend time building a community and building relationships with their consumers can have an easier time with crisis communications.

PR pros who also pay it forward—whether through mentoring, giving time at networking events or sharing their insights through guest posts—can find greater satisfaction, increased influence and a larger pool of clients and job opportunities.

2. “As I’ve said before, time is short, and life is precious.”

Time is short, life is precious....Nancy Reagan 1921-2016 #quote

— Rebecca Murtagh (@VirtualMarketer) March 6, 2016
A day in the life of a PR pro is often hectic, filled with writing and pitching press releases, working with clients on traditional and social media tactics, networking, putting out brand fires and more.

Though many PR pros take their work home with them—either in hand or emotionally—Reagan’s words can remind us that there are important things beyond strategy meetings and analytics reports.

If you find that work is seeping too much into your personal life, assess what you can change to get a better work/life balance. Your work will be more effective, and you won’t get burnt out as easily.

3. “A woman is like a tea bag—you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”

Nancy Reagan was an inspiration of strength and grace #RIP #MondayMotivation #quote

— Rina Limor Designs (@RinaLimor) March 7, 2016
Though women in the PR industry might take this quote especially to heart, its message can apply to pros of both genders who build and protect brands’ reputations.

You can see the strength and skill set of a PR pro or team when a firestorm breaks out and the damage is mitigated through a calculated plan, timely responses and well-placed messages.

RELATED: Join speechwriters for three U.S. presidents in our executive comms and speechwriters conference in Washington, D.C.

4. “You learn something out of everything, and you come to realize more than ever that we're all here for a certain space of time, and, and then it's going to be over, and you better make this count.”

RIP Nancy Reagan

— Rhonda McLaughlin (@rlm1967) March 7, 2016
The message for PR pros—as well as professionals in any industry—is straightforward: Learn from your mistakes, and seize the day.

Though it can be hard to recover from a crisis or disappointing to lead a lackluster campaign, the future holds much for communicators that take note of what they missed or did wrong and then try a new approach.

5. "There's a big, wonderful world out there for you. It belongs to you. It's exciting and stimulating and rewarding. Don't cheat yourselves out of this promise."

Nancy Reagan has died at the age of 94 from congestive heart failure.

— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 6, 2016
Though Reagan was speaking to younger crowds when she said this during her “Just Say No” speech—part of the campaign against drugs that she spent years promoting—young communicators can apply this to their lives as they enter the PR industry.

PR Daily readers, please offer any Nancy Reagan quotations that have inspired you.


Vivian Li

PR Manager

Tel: +86 010 8390 7451

Mobile: +86 13041030670