Three Things I Hate to Love About PR
March 30, 2015
A few years ago, I decided to jump off a bridge. I’m still not entirely sure why I did it, but I’ve wanted to jump again every day since.
Okay, okay – I was strapped to a bungee cord. Minor detail. The moral of the story is that, for about 75% of the experience, I thought I was going to die. And I loved it.
It might be an extreme example, but this is how I feel about my job in PR. It’s an adrenaline rush. Every day I question why I do it, and how I’ve survived. But every morning I wake up, drink a few cups of coffee, and fall deeper in love with PR. What keeps me coming back for more? Glad you asked. Here are three things I hate that I love about PR most:
1. No One Knows What the F*ck We Do
I assume that if you’ve landed on the Barokas blog, you’re somewhat familiar with PR. But 99% of the population is not. My favorite example of this lack of awareness comes from the most legitimate of sources: urban dictionary.
Yes, we promote parties. Exactly. Most of my friends think I’m Peggy Olson from Mad Men.
This can be incredibly annoying. The part that I love? There’s always a market demand. Most CEOs, CMOs or their business counterparts need a PR pro or team to help promote their business. Another part that I love: how happy our clients are when they see results. When PR is done right, you’ll see results but hardly even know we’re there. This is counterintuitive and fuels lack of awareness, but it makes us kind of like superheroes. Your sales team will have coverage to fuel their sales pipeline, your HR organization will see resumes pour in, your online channels will spike in traffic – there are countless goals to be accomplished.
2. Shit Hits the Fan Every. Single. Day.
When I wake up in the morning, before I habitually roll over and check my email, there are about 15 priorities I think (emphasis on ‘think’) I have for the day. By the end (and I don’t mean 5pm), those priorities have dramatically shifted. I like to think of this as an “objects in the mirror are never as close (or far away) as they appear’ conundrum. There are two main drivers to the chaos that I’ve grown to love: the nature of PR and the pace of the tech industry.
Whether it’s an embargo being broken, a surprise funding announcement, or a crisis communication effort, PR is an on-the-edge-of-your seat kind of ride – that doesn’t really stop. At Barokas we work with emerging tech companies from early, stealthy startups to high growth, going-to-be-acquired-any-day-now tech darlings – and we take pride in playing a huge part for making them successful. This is not a 9-5 job. The dynamic of this culture is what fuels me. While I’m inherently a ‘planner,’ I’m addicted to the rush of a constantly changing tech and PR world that cannot be 100% planned for.
3. Journalists Hate Us
I absolutely love proving people wrong. Almost every day I read an article about the reason reporters hate PR; they fascinate me. I’m embarrassed for SO many fellow PR colleagues and their incredibly lazy PR tactics; it sickens me to be lumped into this category and I take pride in setting an example of my own behavior. But I’m also humored by the hypocrisy from a minority of journalists themselves: typos, false-information, lack of objectivity, inconsistent policies on embargos. They’re guilty too. Any subset of a given professional should not reflect an entire population – and every day I’m motivated to changing the PR status quo.
PR is rewarding, inspiring and can make a serious impact on a business or society. But PR is not for most people. You have to be thick-skinned, aggressive with a balance of easy-going, and always up for a few challenges. Good luck out there J