During my father’s recent visit, he asked me a question that continues to pop up almost every time we meet. And this has been going on for the past 7 years. And the question isn’t about my personal life! It’s actually: “What is it exactly that you do for a living?” And no matter how many times I try to explain what public relations is to my father AND mother, they don’t seem to get it. My explanation somehow always leads them to think that I actually book advertising space for clients. No matter which angle I take, or examples I give, I don’t seem to be able to explain it properly to them. Working in the industry for so long, I tend to forget that for those who have never been exposed to the world of PR in the professional sense, the concept is indeed alien to them.
The good news is: I’m not alone. The public relations profession is so vast that it encompasses so many different things from media relations, crisis communications, public affairs, executive counsel, to social networking, and much much more. The fact that it is profession that is ever evolving, makes whatever definition you already have outdated in the span of a few months.
How do you explain public relations when you meet someone new?