The role of a public relations practitioner is a mystery to many people and public relations is often misunderstood by the majority.
Movies like Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada have glamorized PR through characters such as Samantha Jones (Sex and the City) and Andrea Sachs (The Devil Wears Prada). Both characters are portrayed as PR pros jet-setting across the world and planning lavish parties. Yes, I’ve planned a party or two as a public relations professional, and I’ve had my fair share of jet-setting, but that’s not the focus of my job.
I’ve also had a few laughs with my family regarding my career path.
While explaining to my grandma the latest technology at CES 2019, she asked, “Did you sell a lot of products at the show?” I overheard a younger family member ask my grandma what I do for a living, and she responded by saying, “She’s on the phone all day!”
Then, I asked my parents what they think I do for a living. My mom responded with, “Marketing!” and my dad said, “Advertising.” We’re getting closer!
Lastly, I asked my husband, because surely he should know what I do all day. His response: “You write press releases and award entries.” Correct, but public relations entails so much more.
So, I’ve been practicing public relations for more than six years, but what do I do?
I help brands tell their stories to influence perceptions or behaviors. My goal is to find the stories within a brand and share them, compellingly, with an audience. This is done through public relations strategy, media relations, social media management, internal communications, crisis communications, content communication, media training and more.
Every day is different. Some days, I’m writing nonstop — whether it’s press releases, blog posts or award entries, I’m creating content for my clients to increase their brand awareness. Other days, I’m distributing press releases via email and coordinating phone calls for media advances (that’s media relations). On a hectic day, I’m managing a client crisis, whether it’s a product recall or an executive being accused of misconduct. I’m the person that comes in to develop a plan to properly handle the problem and working 24/7 to manage the problem. And, often, I’m doing everything listed above, and more, in one day.
If I’m traveling for work, I’m not sitting by the pool at a luxury resort. I’m on a trade-show floor coordinating appointments with the press with the hopes that they’ll cover the latest product my client is showcasing. Or, I’m in a conference room with my client developing a strategy for the next product launch, company rebrand or executive shake-up.
Public relations is not about throwing parties — it’s countless hours spent behind a computer to build a communications strategy, bring the strategy to life, and make sure my client’s goals are being met. Meanwhile, it’s nurturing existing and new relationships with the media to gain coverage for my client.
My clients come to me with their communications and business objectives, and I create a solution to build relationships with their audience and develop strong brand credibility. I’m a problem solver and a storyteller.