I’m a PR professional (and have been for a while now) and I have to say that what I do on a daily basis is far more complex and multi-leveled than the work PR professionals did 10 or 20 years ago. To illustrate this point, let’s take a look at what I do during the course of a single day in PR.
- Coffee: I am pretty sure this has been a staple of PR since the Pharaoh’s advisers were telling him he was losing face with the public. Actually, PR professionals were recently named the second most highly caffeinated workers in a study, further validating my point.
- Issues Monitoring: I spend a portion of my day, every day, monitoring online conversations for several issues that my clients are concerned about: trolling Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the like to see what the masses are saying.
- Fixing Code: While I am not a code monkey (though I do love “The IT Crowd”), I find myself spending portions of my day fixing websites, swapping out graphics and programing short code for WordPress or one of the multiple other CMS’s.
- New Business Pitching: Sure, PR folks have been doing this forever, but the way we do it now is different, using custom themes, Prezi, creating video, making websites and doing digital research.
- Talk on Twitter: Share of voice in my field of expertise means I need to constantly monitor, create and broadcast content to people who are interested.
- PhotoShop: Pictures…skewing, sizing, color enhancements… we do this often.
- Blogger Relations: Chatting with bloggers online via message boards, comment sections and email.
- Creating Themes in Office: More and more our clients want us to create and fix custom Microsoft Office branded themes that they can use as company collateral to give their brand a common look and feel.
- Adwords: I track, buy and create several custom Pay Per Click ads for various clients. Is this PR? Is this advertising? I don’t think the client cares. They just want it done.
I could go on and on about these and many other items that PR professionals have to do today that they didn’t have to do 10 years ago. Everyday PR professionals are asked to meet the communications needs of their clients. But those needs also include a number of other tasks that have come along as new technologies have evolved and become integral to the work we do for clients.
I am fond of saying I’m a “Jack of All Trades” since I got my start in “traditional” media relations and later cultured a host of skills that are valued by clients but not seen as typical PR. At the end of the day, the client doesn’t really care what we call our work as long as it’s good and makes them look great.
My list is pretty short. Can you think of any odd things that a PR professional has to do today that they might not have needed to do a decade ago?