It’s a funny old world, Public Relations. It makes you do unusual things. Here’s just a few funny quirks that I think most people in the industry can relate to:
1. You Fill In Surveys People never understand why you bother to fill in surveys, product review emails, event evaluations, etc. For most people they’re a waste of time. But when you work in an industry where evaluation is the Holy Grail, and you’ve created more SurveyMonkeys than you could shake a banana at, you understand the importance and you take the time, even in the “free text” boxes. You know how excited the little chap on the end of that data sheet will be to have a reply!
2. You’re Cynical About The News
Whether you choose to ignore most of it or you prefer to scathingly critique it, PR people will often be highly cynical of mainstream media. This is understandable considering our job is to try to fill it with client information. But even when it comes to big headlines or stories that are notable by their absence in the headlines, you’ll likely hear a PR person say they don’t believe ANYTHING they read.
3. When You Do Read The News, It’s To Research Ideas
We buy the newspapers everyday and, aside from a few good journalistic and commentary pieces, for the most part you can be pretty sure that your fellow PRo’s have pretty much written the paper’s contents. So you flick quickly and earnestly through the pages for one thing and one thing only: super photo call ideas! You will lament the angle, sigh at the fabulous lighting and envy the props on display. While everyone around you thinks you’ve finally lost the plot.
4. You Hate Social Media Notifications
For most people, notifications make them feel loved. They get excited about the prospect of a new message, a Friend Request or a plethora of followers and comments. The only time they’re a nuisance is when Facebook announces to the World and it’s granny that it’s their birthday. In PR, you will likely be manning the social media accounts of many of your clients. For example, I manage 2 Twitter accounts and 4 Facebook pages. I get upwards of 40 notifications a day. I loathe them because they will more often than not be about someone other than me. Lonely much?
5. When It Comes To Phone Battery Life, You Make Apple Look Good
PR is rarely a stuck-to-your-desk kind of job. You’ll spend your days running between meetings, events and photo calls. The incessant social media notifications will be coming in on-top of phone calls and emails. Most PRo’s I know have chargers EVERYWHERE - from the house to the office, the car and even spare chargers in handbags! You’ll meet people from many walks of life who will regularly tell you their phone has run out of charge and they’ll say it nonchalantly, like it’s no big deal. When a PR person says it, get them a cup of tea, preferably with some brandy in it. Their world is crumbling…
Did you recognise yourself here or do you disagree?
Do you have any other funny quirks that you think we share in this line of work?
I’d love to hear them!