If you look at movies or television shows that feature someone who works in PR, you tend to see a lot of glamor and mingling with very little actual work. Due to this, many people try to enter the PR world to emulate Samantha Jones or the people they think accurately reflect the industry.
However, these portrayals are usually dramatized and colored these positions as things that they really aren’t. Take the words of Blakely Vaughn, Director of Public Relations and Artistry Relations at Sephora as an example:
What do PR People DO?
Simply put: a PR professional tells the story of a company or a brand. They have to grow and guide the perception that an audience has of a specific entity. This is done through marketing, advertising, and other teams as well as by working with senior staff. A PR person works with events organization, press releases, articles, and social media, among other things.
Essentially, PR professionals make up the voice of the brand everywhere you see it.
PR and Crisis Management
One of the biggest parts of PR is to manage crisis situations. Larger corporations, individuals of merit, and companies of all sizes rely on PR teams to shape their image through times of conflict. If something happens, it is up to the PR team to “spin” the news into something positive. Basically, you will always be fighting with the negative and trying to find a way to make it into something positive.
Typically, this involves learning how to balance the negative and the positive so that you aren’t lying to the consumer, but rather giving them two sides to look at in the situation.
Research Research Research
In order to know what to say as a PR person, you have to know your audience. A lot of the job is really learning about who you are representing, who you are representing them to, and what the best approach is to effectively communicating with those people. It can be difficult, especially if your target audience is broken up into several categories. Knowing your consumer is one of the most important things you can do as a PR professional. If you are working with an established company, it can take you months to know them well. If you are working with a startup, it can take you even longer, though you will grow with the company. Which fit is the best for your depends on what kind of challenge you want.
At the end of the day, PR professionals have to take the story of the corporation or company and the story of the consumer and mix them together. They have to know almost every facet of the business as well as what the consumers really want. Much of what they do is based on interactions with various forms of media.
Working in the PR field is one of the most exciting jobs right now, but it takes hard work as well.