PR Defined.

The definition of PR is consistently changing. When PR professionals are asked to simply put what they do, its difficult. And how many times have we heard that the worst word to include in the definition of what PR is — spin.

Those who practice PR know what they do, and those hiring PR professionals think they have an idea of what they do, but how do we explain what we do to people with no relation to our field? Well look no more, the Public Relations Society of America has come out with a finalized definition of what public relations means.

According to the PRSA, the definition is: “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

I’ll admit, that does seem like quite the mouthful, and isn’t probably what I’d say when asked what I do, but it is good to refer to!

Pros & Cons of PR Agencies

As I have begun the search for a job in PR, I have found myself looking at both PR boutiques and agencies. Not really knowing the difference and the benefits of either, I found the article on PR Couture incredibly helpful. The article makes and explains and entire list of the benefits and cons of PR agencies.

Taking straight from the website, the pros listed were:

  • Ability to learn from and work on multiple accounts
  • Surrounded by the best in the business/not a lone wolf
  • Dynamic work environment due to account mix
  • Learn how to pitch and acquire new business

the cons listed were:

  • Less of an ability to just make things happen, need client approval
  • Being on the outside means missing out on “water-cooler” conversations
  • Titles matter, agency politics can be a struggle
  • Billing time

The list was beneficial because it certainly allowed me to see the differences between a boutique firm and a PR agency. Depending on how you work and what you want to be able to do in your job, figuring out whether an agency or a boutique will be crucial.

Trashy vs. Classy: Self Marketing

In lieu of my 2 most recent posts, I have decided to stay on the topic of self marketing. On this weeks, Linky Love, an article about celebrities tweeting caught my eye. I personally follow some celebrities on Twitter, but seemingly not the notorious ones.

I stand by in my other posts saying that I agree with individuals, like my self, and celebrities self marketing — reaching out to the public, connecting with people on a more personal level, but the article I read exposes the negativity of celebrities taking self marketing into their own hands.

In the article, “Dear PR People: Please Stop Letting Celebrities Tweet” the issue of celebrities tweeting and having a negative backlash is far too common. More often that not, celebrities tweet something controversial and public out cries occur. As the famous saying states, not all publicity is good publicity. When celebrities tweet controversial, rude, and insensitive subject matter, millions of followers instantly read it, causing a major need for damage control.

As much of a fan as I am of celebrities relating to fans, and as much as I believe in the freedom of speech, celebrities are caught in a gray area, where they have to be very weary of both.

The article states it very well, “for every tweet that gets deleted, 9 more show up in its place.” This explains the cycle of a single outrageous or controversial statement being tweeted, and then the immediate and plentiful tweets apologizing and retracting the statement.

As long as self promotion stays classy and personally beneficial, it’s a positive tool, but when it turns negative and trashy, it turns self marketing into a dangerous tool.

Roberto Cavalli: fashion icon and now a blogger?

This week on Linky Love, an article was shared regarding Roberto Cavalli’s new hobby…blogging! Who knew that a fashion icon who doesn’t even tweet would start to blog. His blog so far has focused on his travels, his love life,  and his couture shows, all of which he has called his adventure.

Personally, I find it admirable that a man of such reverence, such popularity and such social positioning still takes the time out of his day to connect with his fans and the patrons of his clothing line.

Cavalli’s actions have a direct correlation to world and profession of public relations because despite his media empire, he individually has made an outreach to his “clients”. In relation to the article I posted and discussed last week, this just emphasizes the fact that personal marketing is key. As long as you don’t over advertise yourself, or worse, falsely advertise yourself, their is no shame in promoting yourself and your capabilities. Garnering that from this article was incredibly useful to mean and I know it is something I will carry with me and use in the future.

In Cavalli’s situation, he doesn’t need to “get his name out” or advertise who he is, but his outreach is key to his self promotion as a likable and in a sense relatable person.

As a newbie in PR, tips and advice are all around us, but sometimes have to be derived differently that just being told. By looking at Cavalli’s blogging habits in the way that I did, I was able to learn a useful practice.

Lure them In…with Social Media

This week on PR at Sunrise, an article regarding the techniques and skills of landing a new client via social media was presented. It was an interesting take on old school vs. new school ways of acquiring media attention and garnering new clients.

In “The Art of Landing New PR Clients via Social Media“, the author of the article supplied social media guidelines that are imperative to having a professional web presence. A few on his list are:

– Always present yourself professionally, even in your personal social media accounts- you NEVER know who will view your profile.

– Increase visitors and contacts by including your your social media sites in your email signature, website, advertisements, and on business cards.

– Follow and friend your media and pr contacts and keep them informed of client story, photo and pr opportunities.

Currently, social media is one of, if not, your strongest marketing assets. As an emerging PR professional, social media guidelines and how to present yourself favorably online is key to the success of girls like myself getting the internships and the jobs we want and strive for!