Explaining PR to Uncle Joe

For no reason in particular I woke up this morning with graduation on the mind. Oddly enough, my only concern was how I was going to explain my major, and what I plan to make a career out of, to my family. It was difficult enough during the holidays and I would rather not repeat that spiel again come May 8th. So, I did the only logical thing I could come up with: turned to Google. I knew I couldn’t be the only one with this problem and I was right. For those of you who may face this same issue, I’ve complied a few of the best explanations to help your family and friends understand exactly what we do.

  • “Public relations (PR) is the use of communications to manage public perception of an individual or an organization.” What Is
  • Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.PRSA
  • A public relations specialist is an image shaper. Their job is to generate positive publicity for their client and enhance their reputation. The client can be a company, an individual or a government. ” The Princeton Review
  • PR agencies and advertising agencies share the same goals:  promoting clients and making them seem as successful, honest, important, exciting or relevant as possible.  But the paths to creating awareness are vastly different. PR agencies, as opposed to advertising agencies, promote companies or individuals via editorial coverage.” Forbes
  • It’s my job to talk to the public about my clients, and to help my clients listen to what the public is saying about them. My ultimate goal is to get positive attention for my clients, which may mean securing news stories, getting people to talk us up on social media, planning cool events, or anything else creative I can come up with.” Talent Zoo
  • “I help companies communicate with people – customers, employees, legislators. And with you! If you’ve read a story in a newspaper or on CNN.com on a new product, a PR pro shared that with the reporter and lined up the interviews. If you see a business leader delivering a speech, a PR pro probably wrote it. If you happen across a really cool event in Bryant Park, a PR pro likely played a major part in the idea behind it. We work with executives to figure out the smartest, most effective ways to engage with people, let them know what’s going on with the company, and get their thoughts and feedback.” Communications Catalyst
  • You make your clients look good by coordinating interviews and providing information about them to the media.” Business Insider

Sure, most of these definitions are blunt or don’t cover the full breadth of what we do, but for the purpose of having your relatives get a grasp of our industry, these should do just fine. We are taught to be concise after all!

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