If you read blogs, you might go away thinking that you have a lot to learn about methodology, strategy, approach, tactical implementation and evaluation. When done well, public relations is a very complex craft.
The Cold Facts
Senior PR and Marketing professionals all around the world sit around tables and strategize a grand vision of a campaign that is most often implemented by junior level professionals (who are rarely asked for input). Afterward, executives pat themselves on the back for a "job well done."
Nothing against executives, it is just a fact of life.
When I catch myself feeling smug, I always wonder what the people I am trying to reach would think about the way that I talk about them? When I am in these strategy sessions, which is almost every day recently, I try to imagine that someone from the community that I am hoping to reach is in the room. It keeps me honest.
I hope that if people know what the sausage is made of, they will still eat it.
PR Hearts You
With Valentine's Day on the horizon, it is a great time to remember that public relations boils down to one simple thing – relationships. Relationships with the community, with customers, with constituents, with members, with stakeholders.
Whatever you call the the people in your sphere of influence, one thing is certain – the one with the most relationships wins.
People like companies and organizations that have a human face and that have similar values as them. They also like a company to do what it says it will do, and to be genuinely sorry if it doesn't live up to its promises.
Once in a while, a client genuinely "gets it" and starts to talk passionately about how they can "give first." This happened last week, and it made my day.
So many of these conversations are all about getting, with giving taking a backseat.
"This is just the way that business gets done," you might say.
And most days I would agree. But business doesn't have to make us less human. After all, what is money if your company has no soul?
Remember that we are in the business of communication first.