Many people outside the industry seemingly have no clue about what it is that PR people do exactly. Just yesterday I was telling a peer in my economics class that I am a public relations major. His initial response? “Oh, so you like send press releases and stuff?” Yes, we sometimes write and distribute press releases, but there is much, much more to the public relations profession.
I enjoyed Jackson Wightman’s humorous articles on “21 things PR is not” and “21 things PR is” on the Proper Propaganda blog. Below are just a few items pulled from his posts.
What PR is not:
- The department whose sole purpose is to write, edit and hawk press releases.
- A business function that deals with the media and/or bloggers and nothing else.
- Capable of whitewashing all sins.
- Necessarily or invariably the adversary of media.
- A synonym for spin.
- A craft that requires fundamental understanding of human needs/wants.
- A profession that has been seriously changed by the Internet.
- A profession that is…about relations with various publics and not just the media.
- Regularly misperceived – especially by journalists.
- Capable of significantly helping reduce organizational costs if applied correctly.