For all there is to learn about communication—its art, science, tactics and strategy—there is as much to learn about partnership, that state of more perfect union achieved only through successful communication.
In a sense, these are two aspects of the same goal. If the object of communication is getting your point across, your partners count among those most thoroughly aware and approving of your message. What communicator wouldn’t love to take for granted the full partnership of every audience?
In another sense, partnership is its own goal and reward. We are physically limited creatures and must partner to meet almost every need; we are also social animals and enjoy company for its own sake.
“Friendship,” wrote Aristotle, “is essentially a partnership.”
For these reasons, I find communications and partnership equally important in the work of public relations. Though neither field can be mastered in one lifetime, much good can be done by trying to better our practice of each.