PR explained by PRofessional Parents
Feb 15, 2019
Last year we asked the youngest members of our families what a “typical” day at the office looks like, receiving incredibly accurate responses (and others not so much) from PR(e)-schoolers between eight months and seven years old.
As we once again prepare to celebrate Family Day, this year we looked to the older, wiser generation: our parents and grandparents, curious about what they think we do for a living. Between questions on whether we are eating right, or eating enough, or when we’re going to bring their grandchildren over, have we done a good job sharing with them the complexities and joys of the PR business? You be the judge.
“Hi, Nana. When people ask you what I do, how do you explain PR/communications?”
“Have not been asked.”
– Nana Nancy, grandmother to Maggie
So, after asking Nana, we revised our approach to the question:
“IF someone were to ask you what I do, how do you explain PR?”
“I would say you are a public relations manager.” (okay…literal description of job title) “I would also tell them that you represent certain clients and also have staff you manage. You follow social media regarding their image and make suggestions to improve it. And you are down on King Street.” (Fact. We are on King Street)
– Terry, mom to Catherine
“You work with companies and train them on how to do PR work.”
– Tim, dad to Kelly
“Basically, you are a ghostwriter and communication through different types of media. You fix problems or pump up good things…And I think you are probably AMAZING at it too. Xoxo.” (Aww. She is amazing!)
– Michelle, mom to Erin
“I say you work in communications and that companies need your good services to help solve certain problems.” (“great services”, if I do say so myself!)
– Louisette, mère de Anne
“I tell people that you suggest/manage communication for your clients, to their customers, and/or tell them how best to sell their products/ideas. You arrange to get your clients on TV/radio, or into print/electronic media. You also coach companies on how to do damage control properly, after they screw up. Mostly, I tell everyone that you’re a genius.” (Aww pt. 2)
– Stephen, dad to Janine
“It’s only occasionally I need to elaborate to explain what you do, I may say something like you help businesses develop and communicate their messages, including helping them to get media coverage, preparing executives to speak to the media and developing communications strategies for dealing with crisis and other sensitive issues (e.g., Maple Leaf Food listeriosis crisis).” (We do a lot of issue/crisis work for sure, though we never wish them on our clients!)
– Susan, mom to Gwen
“I’m not 100% sure, but I imagine you provide strategic executive support for corporate communications to preserve and attract clients.” (Yep. We do this too)
– Miguel, padre de Angela
“I tell them that you and your business partner own and run a public relations firm. Is that a good answer? … The comment “hope we are not in CR by ourselves” was intended for Wendy, not you. I screwed up… Actually, if people want more info about what you do, I tell them to go to your website.” (Thanks, Peter. And thanks for being KLC’s #1 social media follower. We love seeing your comments!)
– Peter, dad to David
While it’s clear a common response included how proud they are and how amazing they think we are (thanks mom and dad!), it is worth a mention that everything they said is… TRUE!
Working in PR involves all aspects and all forms of communication. It involves education, information and influence, being flexible and nimble and having the capacity to re-learn, re-discover and craft impactful strategies for every single project we work on.
To our families, we thank you for your endless support and encouragement. We wouldn’t be here without you.
And from our KLC family to yours, Happy Family Day!
P.S. See more from Nana Nancy on her blog: 85 and still kicking