Like any great chef, the best PR pros have “broken many pots.”

The best PR pros have made mistakesBack when I was a columnist for Her Nashville Magazine (R.I.P.), I wrote about how many of the public relations skills I am recognized for today were crafted from lessons learned from my own stunningly horrific error.

From a very pubic public Spellcheck embarrassment, to being unprepared for a medical emergency at a high-profile event, to printing the wrong 1-800 number on a children’s brochure—I have learned lessons The Hard Way.

The Hard Way that ensures I will never forget. The Hard Way guarantees I am actively striving never to repeat past missteps with current clients.

I have made mistakes, and this company, our clients and their publics are better for it.

In 2006, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll submitted to NPR one of my favorite “This I Believe” pieces.  Carroll says of failure “…it’s not the end of the world. Indeed, with luck, it is the beginning.”

That potential for debuting something even better the next time—the “beginning” that comes from failing—only surfaces when we admit our mistakes and are given permission to discuss them freely.

During your time in the communications kitchen, I hope you break many pots. Failure is never the goal. But if you care enough about your craft, and are willing to acknowledge, dissect and understand the origins of that failure, you are polishing your badge of credibility.

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