What no one tells you about working in Public Relations. In our latest blog, Fusion Media Managing Director Christopher Bassett, gives a light hearted insight of what no one tells you about working in public relations.
Beyond earning a degree in Public Relations and learning from numerous peers along the way, the best thing to prepare you for a career in PR is real life experience. Unfortunately, this also means there will be a lot of learning and adjusting as you go. As I approach my fifthteenth year working in the industry, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and know-how that simply can’t be gained by sitting in any classroom – it’s that real life expereience that matters most.
Here’s what I’ve learned about a career in Public Relations that no text book will tell you.
You will have to explain to people what exactly it is you do – ALOT!
The TV show Sex and the City may be to blame for the myths and false assumptions about Public Relations. I promise, we don’t schmooze at publicity events and drink all day. I think everyone would pursue a career in PR if that were the case. Again and again you will find yourself having to define and defend what it is you do and the value it provides. The good news is you’ll establish a solid pitch that will serve to win over your clients.
You will be referred to as ‘marketing’ again and again and again!
While Fusion Media is a full service agency with a range of marketing services to offer, we make it very clear that PR is not marketing – it’s just one of the components. While marketing and PR serve to very different purposes within a business, I can see why they’re often lumped into one broad category. At the end of the day, I really don’t care if someone refers to my role as marketing, publicity or business development. So long as we are on the same page with our strategy and deliverables, we’ll get along just fine!
People will expect guaranteed media placement for everything you pitch
In this industry, you will find that some clients are ‘press release happy’ where they think everything the business does deserves media placement. Even when something newsworthy does come up, issuing a press release is by no means a guarantee that it will be picked up by the media. We know that, but we often need to manage client expectations. At the end of the day, the media will determine the fate of your news. Which brings us to…
The success of your strategy will be at the mercy of a lot of other people
The reality of Public Relations is that there will be many elements of your strategy which simply aren’t in your control. You will need to do everything within your control to set yourself up for the best possible outcomes, but at the end of the day you are at the mercy of the media, the community, your clients timely responses and approval, the weather (yes really!) and a variety of other elements you will not be able to predict until they hit you unexpectedly.
You will get to see your work impacting the world
Finally, and most encouraging, is the truth that a career in PR allows you to see your work changing the world. Piece by piece, your PR strategy will cause a ripple effect that will change public perception, grow businesses, help the community and much more. When Public Relations does what it’s intended to do, it’s a powerful and beautiful thing!
If you want a partner that is passionate about helping you grow your business then get in touch. It’s what we’re best at.