Piggy-backing one of my favorite blogs, these are some observations of a Pre-PRo and should be taken as such. However, I have to say, these are some things I’ve noticed as I’ve hung out with more of “you people” and when I ponder these and look at my future in PR, I’m good with it. Here’s why:
Stuff PR People Like (in no particular order):
- Blogs, Blogging, the Blogosphere: We like being part of it all. We like the reciprocity. We give, you give back.
- Business-Casual: We clean up pretty good. But we sure like to pair our heals or loafers with a nice pair of Seven jeans and a sweater rather than your usual pant-suite. It lets us not only show our personal style and trendiness, but it’s also damn comfortable.
- San Francisco/Boston/New York City: Everywhere I applied had an office in one of these cities. I can explain SF and Boston – close enough to the news making action (NYC, Silicon Valley), but far enough away to deny association if necessary. New York? Meh – it is what it is. EVERY facet of the business world is there. Helloooo.
- Happy Hour: I have never been invited out for Happy Hour more than when I’m with PR people. Not that my social agenda is limited in any way. ButHappy Hour does serve as a good place and time to not only wind down and enjoy some well deserved brews and bar food, but it also offers great networking opportunities.
- New Technology: Want a virtually free platform to spread your message in fun ways to finely-tuned target audiences? Why, yes. Thank you.
- Apple/Macs: PR people love something that works well and is aesthetically pleasing. And we love Silicon Valley. And iTunes. And Steve Jobs.
- Ethics: Since PR is such a developing industry, ethics come in all shades of gray. This presents a challenge or a game for PR people to see what kinds of tactics can be implemented while respecting ethical boundaries and yet pushing that line just enough to be noticed. As if this weren’t enough, we like to talk about, rehash and find new definitions for ethics.
- Green: Being “green” and eco-friendly is such a successful PR campaign. It was something that used to grate on the nerves of corporate and even mainstream America. But through ingenious product placement (Urban Outfitters) and celebrity endorsement (Leonardo DiCaprio), being “green” isn’t a chore anymore: It’s hot.
- Barack Obama: Even if we’re not going to vote for him, we tend to at least appreciate his image and reputation management. Talk about brilliance: getting Will.I.Am to produce not just one but TWO videos on your behalf and a consistent and engaged presence on Twitter. If nothing else, it gets our attention in a big way. (Speaking of which…)
- Twitter: Thank god for it, really. For me, it serves for networking, blog promotion, research tool and journal. And that’s just for my own personal use. I imagine the possibilities for PRos and businesses are endless. Plus, it’s pretty addictive in that it takes some skill to know how to craft updates and choose links that’ll get you noticed.
On the other hand, here is a compilation of stuff PR people don’t (really) like:
- PR people: PR is an industry in which, to become a PR professional, you can have studied anything but PR. People have been wary of me, time and again, in interviews and classes because I’m a Journalism major with a focus in PR. It’s one of the most irritating things I’ve ever encountered: English students who will probably end up practicing PR who judge me because while they have seminar classes on Olde English and Whitman, I have seminar classes on PR research methods.
- PC’s: Even as I write this post from a PC, I’m thinking about how limited I am in that my processor is slow and susceptible to viruses and that to the world, my computer looks like that bumbling guy on the Mac commercials.
- Liars: We work so hard to communicate the truth (even if we’re a little creative about it sometimes, that it just pisses us off when others aren’t truthful. Or at least it does me.
- Advertising: We do basically the same thing as far as branding goes, only for less money. We also, though, handle reputation management, networking, investor relations, community relations, media relations, etc. The list goes on. Sometimes, I think I’m better than them. Even though I revere Weiden+Kennedy sometimes for their Nike and Smirnoff ads.
- The words “publicity” and “promotion”: Oh, PLEASE. Don’t limit us to publicity and promotion. We’re so much more than that. We are democratizing, media-attention-grabbing, conversation-joining, image-consulting, brand-positioning, product/start-up launching bad-asses who will DO WORK for you.
Feel free to add, subtract or even correct via comment. I was feeling pretty audacious today. I guess.