PR and the Sex and the City myth
I always think it’s an interesting process when I work with a recent graduate, PR intern or junior account person. There is a lot that goes into acclimating a young professional to what a PR person’s day really looks like – much of it can involve dissolving myths that shows like Sex and the City and MTV’s The HIlls have helped to perpetuate. And Caitlin’s recent post reminded me of this.
To a lot of people’s surprise, a typical PR position doesn’t involve hosting non-stop parties and press conferences like Samantha Jones on Sex and the City. (Although, let’s face it, that would be fun.)
Sure, there are certain brands that can benefit from throwing lavish events and gaining exposure in US Weekly. But, for the most part, companies that seek the assistance of a PR team usually need advice on strategic ways they can learn more about their audiences needs, communicate messages and news effectively to internal and external audiences and how to evaluate programs to determine the results/success of particular activities.
I admire a young professional who embarks on a PR career these days. There’s a huge learning curve, because you not only have to become acquainted with the clients and their particular industries, but also how to use a slew of PR tools to:
- Understand audiences
- Identify appropriate media contacts
- Know the best ways to send news to – or pitch – an editor or blogger
- Continually strengthen writing skills
- Incorporate research methods to determine behaviors, monitor competitors and stay current on industry news
- Use plain-old people skills to help get our clients’ messages out to internal and external audiences
A job in PR isn’t daunting if you know what to expect. It can be a lot of fun and very satisfying at the end of the day to know that your ideas and contributions are helping a company reach its business and communications goals…but that usually doesn’t involve a black-tie affair or swanky fundraiser.