Do You Know What PR Is?

by Julie Primrose

If you’re reading this blog you probably already do, but it turns out a lot of people don’t know what the world of public relations is really all about.

A recent article by Adweek stated that 36 percent of Gallup poll respondents have a negative view of the advertising and public relations industries.  After reading the post, I started thinking about why more than one-third of the population dislikes our profession.  Surely there are people who legitimately dislike the industry.  Maybe they’ve been burned by a less-than-professional PR firm or have an ex who works in PR and has tarnished their perception of the entire industry.  If I had to bet though, I would say most people who responded negatively to the poll don’t have a very clear idea of what public relations professionals actually do.

My friends and family who are not involved in the PR world often ask me what exactly I do at my job.  I’ve been asked if I do publicity for celebrities, if I “play” on Facebook and Twitter all day,  and even if I twist the truth to improve our clients’ reputations.  With the latest addition of E!’s “The Spin Crowd” joining a host of recent movies and TV shows that deliver a less-than-accurate portrayal of public relations, it’s no mystery why so many people are confused about our profession.

Last weekend, my sister was in town and wanted to hear all about my new job at Curley & Pynn.  As a social worker, she has little experience with the PR profession and she wanted to know more about it.  If more people would take the time to learn what public relations really entails–strategic planning, relationship building, crisis management, community relations and so much more–they may have a very different opinion of the profession.

At least we rated above oil and banking, the federal government and seven other condemned industries!

2 Responses to Do You Know What PR Is?

  1. Elizabeth says:

    What a perfect day to read this post. This morning someone asked me if I passed out fliers at nightclubs when she learned I was in PR.

  2. Dionne says:

    As a creative working closely with PR professionals, and not one myself, I can honestly say it’s been a difficult thing to wrap my mind around. Before I started working for Curley & Pynn I was clueless as to what PR was all about. And what little I thought I knew was not positive.

    It’s not a concrete tangible good or service but more so an intellectual service that seems to be a very complex, delicate and involved process at times. I see the need that our clients come to us with and then the amazing results. Everything in between the problem and the solution seems like magic to me and I’m always so impressed at how brilliant our staff is at handling each client situation, providing solutions and getting RESULTS I’ve learned that it is a very valuable service and when it’s done right, PR is actually the extreme opposite of all the negative connotations people associate it with.

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