Written by Sofie Skouras

It’s a question I sometimes struggle to answer myself. And I work in the industry.

Case in point: I bumped into an old friend on the tube the other week and we were catching up, I said I worked in PR and as soon as I finished speaking I knew what would follow.

“So what exactly is PR?”

The question I secretly dread. Simply because I struggle to sum up all of what I do into one sentence. And I don’t think I’m alone here either.

There appears to be this widespread mystery surrounding PR. People either don’t have a clue what it is, or they think it’s hob knobbing celebrities and days spent having long boozy lunches with journalists. Just to be clear for me, at least, it’s not.

And it’s because it’s not that straightforward that I often find myself dumbing it down when I try and explain what I do to people. I say it involves creating content (which takes all sorts of forms from articles, whitepapers, press releases through to visuals), which we then push out to media: traditional media to social media and lastly it involves search – did you know that 93 per cent of online experiences begin with a search engine? A cracking piece of coverage is arguably a slight waste if no one can find it. Including keywords to boost its Google ranking helps turn a pretty piece of coverage to content that can strategically drive leads.

So, PR in a nutshell

We help our clients engage with their target audiences through various media with an overall aim to manage or establish reputation and raise online awareness.

Slightly extended version

The right engagement helps companies or individuals tell their business story, makes them stand out and known as industry experts in their respective fields. We help our clients think big and be creative and generate them sales and/or sign-ups.

But that still doesn’t quite cover the entire basis that my job entails. Most days are spent juggling multiple things at once – it’s client handling, monitoring the news, coming up with ideas for articles, pitching stories to journalists, creative ideas for campaigns, relationship building with media, writing, new business pitching and more.

I think most would agree that you work in PR for the ‘buzz’. The buzz I’m referring to is that constant busyness you experience in an agency and what so many of us love about our jobs.

But perhaps spending a little more time explaining what we do to friends and family might help clear up the comms mystery. In the meantime, what are everyone else’s PR one-liners? Let us know at @aspectuspr!

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