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The Power of Speech and the Magic of Words

Reflecting on this Week in U.S. History and its Influence on Strategic Communications


This week marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address. The collection of 271 words – delivered in just two minutes – is arguably one of the world’s most -remembered speeches.

This week also marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It is said that Kennedy studied the Gettysburg Address when penning his inaugural address, drawing wisdom, insight and inspiration from Lincoln’s immortal words. Remembered for its famous line, “Ask not what your country can do for you…ask what you can do for your country,” Kennedy’s inaugural address is still widely regarded as the measure against which all others are judged.

As I reflect on these two men and these two timeless speeches, I cannot help but be inspired by their tremendous gift of harnessing the power of speech and the magic of words. Speaking on behalf of strategic communications professionals, I hope that we all continue to challenge ourselves to reach our audiences where they are, to speak with them in a manner that connects – if not resonates, and to move people to action.

Let us all aspire to hone our craft and to be exceptional writers/communicators in the spirit – and in the memory – of Lincoln and Kennedy.

Amy Whilldin is Vice President of Public Relations at Domus, Inc., a marketing communications agency based in Philadelphia. For more information, visit http://www.domusinc.com. For new business inquiries, please contact CEO and founder of Domus, Inc. Betty Tuppeny at betty.tuppeny@domusinc.com or 215-772-2805.

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