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Does Your Family Know What You Do All Day? #PR
By: Jeannine Wheeler
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Does your family think you work in a honky tonk?

A new survey finds that if you’re working in PR, few families know what it is that you actually do all day. In fact, 72% of PR agency pros report that their parents do not understand what PR is and 41% say their spouses are ignorant of their profession as well.

“Anyone who works in PR wouldn’t be the least surprised to learn that was the case,” says CEO of 5wPR Ronn Torossian.

The survey of 1,000 PR professionals was conducted by Everything PR on August 15 and 16.

And the two most common questions PR pros are asked:

“Why isn’t your name on that story?”
“How is PR different from advertising?”

This is not surprising, since PR is but one component of an organization’s marketing program, which can include all or some of the following: advertising, branding, research, sales, direct marketing, product placement, sales promotion, pricing, and let’s not forget strategy — which should be the blueprint for all marketing activities.

In 2011–12, PRSA ran an international campaign to modernize the definition of PR, which is:

“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

So what exactly is it we do all day?
  • Write press releases, speeches, blogs, white papers, and relevant content for websites and other digital outlets;
  • Write PR pitches and sell them in to the media;
  • Expand client contacts;
  • Plan special events that launch products and campaigns;
  • Conduct strategic research and planning;
  • Use social media to engage target audiences;
  • Report analytics to clients to measure the efficacy of campaigns;
  • Engage with stakeholders to further contacts and messaging;
  • And much more…
A bit too long for a T-shirt slogan, but it might be wise if we spend more time educating the public — and our families — about the unique and dynamic profession that is PR.

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About the Author
Jeannine Wheeler is a PR Director who has worked in three countries, including Russia, the US and the UK. She is currently Sr. Vice President of Pure Energy PR, a full-service boutique communications firm with a focus on the energy, healthcare, technology, construction, real estate & land development, tourism & hospitality and food & beverage industries. Jeannine is in the firm's Austin, Texas office.
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