Let those tears stream down your face #boyscrytoo

Earlier this week I watched a Huffington Post video titled, ‘the last time I cried.’ It is part of a men’s suicide awareness campaign #boyscrytoo. Well-known British males featured in the video including stand-up comedian Romesh Ranganathan, The Vamps, and the Rizzle Kicks.

Since watching the video I have kept contemplating the subject in my head. Men account for over 75% of all suicides in the United Kingdom, and is the biggest killer  for males under 45. The statistics are chilling.

But Britain are not alone. This video reminded me of another awareness movement that took up my Facebook news-feed in September. The majority of my male friends in New Zealand and Australia took part in it. A bit like the ‘no makeup selfie’ challenge in 2014, males were to take a selfie of themselves whilst doing the ‘okay’ sign with their fingers and nominate a buddy to do the same with #ItAintWeakToSpeak and #itsokaytotalk.

Why are men so vulnerable when it comes to the contemplation of taking their own lives? Everyone should feel free to let out their emotions and not worry about a dated social stigma attached to what is a natural process.

Throughout history males have been seen as the superior and ’emotionally harder’ gender, often growing up believing that they must suppress their feelings. Slowly this view is changing and its campaigns on social media platforms that are helping to show us that its okay not to be okay sometimes.

These campaigns are directed to men because that is where the issue is largest, but they are stepping stones to making a ‘taboo’ mental health topic more and more acceptable to openly talk about.

The last time I cried I was watching Me Before You. I wept like a baby even though I knew the ending. When was the last time you cried?

 

 

PR assumptions that need squashing

Being new to the world of Public Relations I have noticed many assumptions about the industry and its practitioners which don’t add up.

One is the ‘PR girl’ stereotype. This stereotype is seen in a lot in fiction. For example; Sex in the Cities’ Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) and her lavish life in the PR world. Her job is obviously exaggerated for good viewing purposes and assists Samantha’s super outgoing character. Some practitioners may lead glamourous lifestyles and the job does have perks, they do not live and work exactly like a fictional character.

This leads onto another assumption; PR is a career for females. The statistics prove that the gender ratio is uneven. It isn’t a single sex profession, plenty of men work in it too.

PR people are the masters of spin where they distort the truth (primarily sourced from perspectives of journalists). In reality, PR looks for good news and journalism seeks out bad news. PR is used as the ‘middleman’ forging relationships for the organisations with its publics. They merely steer the narrative to suit their organisation’s needs. This doesn’t mean all PR practitioners are squeaky clean in their actions. No profession is without its faults. Hiding the truth in PR deliberate can have massive repercussions.

PR is propaganda. If this was the case, then PR would be a deliberate attempt to influence people whom have no choice but to accept information that is based on bullying and fear.

PR is about conversations, forging relationships and safeguarding the person organisation by being the ‘middleman’ to their/its publics. Both men and women work in the industry in reality, and as glamourous as Samantha Jones’ work life may seem it’s a TV show. Samantha Jones isn’t real.