“Is it marketing?” No.
“Is it advertising?” No.
“Oh, you’re a journalist?!” No.
It is a constant struggle of conveying what a PR professional does, and we sometimes even ask ourselves that very question.
Picture us, two interns walking into an office, confident from being a pair of top dogs in their respective classes, arrogance quickly washed away as we jumped into the fast paced current of a real PR firm. After just a few days, we both found that PR is more than communication between a client and the media. In just the first week, we experienced researching, writing and media monitoring, and the importance of conveying that news to a client. All of this just being one part of what a public relations professional does.
Even with this said, peers in pursuit of other professions will still not understand PR without immersing themselves in the multi-faceted industry, or until they see firsthand how their respective organizations benefit from PR efforts. We feel it is our responsibility to build credibility and respect for the profession when explaining it to others. When we think of a PR pro, we think of someone with all the answers and resources, while effectively communicating it to a number of audiences.
As all of this felt overwhelming, we have realized that practicing public relations is what comes natural to us. And even though we consider ourselves two confident young men who have a way with words, we cannot give justice to what the profession is all about…yet. The biggest thing we learned after a few days is that we have only begun to understand what it takes to be a public relations professional. And as we grow as professionals, so will our definition of the field.