‘Tis the season for holiday parties and the inevitable conversation with a friend-of-a-friend. These tête-à-têtes all start the same way because at some point in history it was determined that the only way to strike up a conversation with a relative stranger is to ask, “What do you do?”
Personally, I love when people ask me this question. Partially because I truly enjoy the work I do, but also because of the mixed responses I get. When I respond that I work in public relations, the reactions fall into one of two categories: either the person starts talking about advertising or marketing and someone they know in those two related – but vastly different – fields; or they nod and uncomfortably follow up with “So, what do you DO?”
PR is actually a very diverse field, but here’s how we approach it at D+P. Essentially we use strategic communications to shape and effectively convey a brand. This involves an incredible amount of message and content development (aka writing) and content management (strategically distributing what we write across platforms), but the actual tactics we use for each client are tailored to their unique needs.
At times we are helping tell an exciting story through media outreach. For example, engaging media to tell the story of students in North Philadelphia overcoming the odds to receive acceptance into top colleges. Or, the development of new trails in the region and how they are bringing new life to local businesses.
Other times we are helping a large organization through a significant transition. We call this “issues management.” A client like this might require detailed internal communications plans with supporting materials, assistance managing the way their brand is perceived by the media and external audiences, and a plan to reinforce the strength of their brand following the transition.
And still other clients are looking for us to launch a new brand with significant press events, social media campaigns, new website content, and more.
Essentially, if it involves working to shape an effective message, communicating that message – no matter the audience or the platform – and then working with our clients to ensure their brands are property positioned, that’s what we call public relations.
I could go on, but it’s nearly time for our annual holiday lunch and gift exchange. If you are interested in reading more, you can check out case studies of our work here, or shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, catch me at the next cocktail party, and I’ll tell you more.