Here’s the thought: this year has been negative at almost every turn: the European debt crisis, the Washington deadlock, Occupy Wall Street (and global iterations), the coal seam gas fights in Australia (and world-wide), in Canberra more political disappointments than any of us would care to count (boat people, carbon tax, live exports – the list goes on). And the daily brawls between Gillard and Abbott.

The majority of debates have been about what’s wrong, not what’s right.  It’s been exhausting! Will next year will belong to the leader who can enthuse us with conciliation? Or start down that path?

Will next year belong to public relations practitioners that can bring people together.

The ALP is working at it. The weekend has given us the Labor National Conference which seemed to be substantially about the orchestrated freedom of expression (conscience votes) and robust debate, while emerging united at the end of each day. It didn’t seem to be so much about spin as a genuine attempt at finding common ground. 

Good public relations, or Corporate Affairs, is about searching for the middle ground, creating shared value, emphasising common themes, the art of understanding first and then being understood, about social sustainability. It’s not so much about compromise as flexibility and tolerance.

(to be continued….)

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