18 Feb What people think we do all day – close, but no cigar!
People in public relations like to think that everyone knows what we do. But occasionally, we get reminded that this is simply not the case, sometimes with hilarious results. To illustrate, here are a few of the answers we get when we ask non-PR people what they think we do all day – From Alex Bimonte, director of Social Media for The Buzz Agency, “Oh! So you do commercials like I see on TV right? … And buy magazine ads? PR is like advertising, right? Like the guys in “Mad Men.” I bet you drink a lot! All you do is write press releases and pay/bribe reporters to write stories about your clients. Oh and can you redo our website? Director of social media? What is that? I bet you just post pictures and tweet all day using an automated system and Facebook message your friends.” From Kimberly Kenney, PR/Administrative Associate for The Buzz Agency, “The general response I get when I tell people that I do PR is ‘what is that?’ Mind you, I get this A LOT. Or they assume that PR is marketing. That’s like saying Chinese and Japanese people are the same. (I get this a lot too since I’m Japanese!)” We could fill a book with pithy comebacks, but instead let’s try the straightforward approach. For all of the many professionals who work in other industries that may need a bit of clarification about what we PR folks do, how about – A public relations professional works with a client or their company to develop messages that will help the public understand their mission and/or view that client or company in a positive light. Once developed, we strategically disseminate those messages via media outlets (print publications, broadcast, radio and online) to reach audiences who may care, use or benefit from the information. This dissemination is referred to as campaigns, and we creatively come up with as many customized campaigns as our clients need. We also measure and map audience reaction to our campaigns to further our clients’ knowledge of their audiences. Sounds important, doesn’t it? Well, we’d like to think so. We welcome chances to talk about what we do and how we do it – text, call, email or follow us. Kimberly is also free to explain the difference between China and Japan.