“No, I get that you do ‘public relations’ but what do you actually do?”. If you’ve ever worked in public relations, advertising, social media management, you name it, you’ve probably heard these words from your folks back home or any other peer/friend who just doesn’t understand what the heck you do all day. As frustrated as it may be, just remain calm. There is a way to explain to your loved ones “what exactly you do” without feeling the need to slam your head against the wall.
Okay let’s start easy.
- “Social Media Management”
How to explain it: I tweet and take pictures for them, so that I can control the messages that go out.
What it really is: In social media management, a number of things are done. We make sure that there is consistency between all of your online platforms, and will most likely introduce you to a few new ones as well. We make sure that your messages match the tone of your brand and create skilfully worded content accompanied with relevant images, and target them to your audience based off of their viewing preferences, only after gathering background information and research of course.
- “Account Management”
How to explain it: This person is the carrier pidgeon between client and the team.
What it really is: Account managers have a really large role to play in the company. It is so very important to make sure that they are able to communicate clearly with the client and the production team to ensure accuracy and client satisfaction. They are the person who communicates most regularly with the client, and then relays any messages or changes that the client wants to the writers, designers, etc. They must timely and accurate with all of their meetings between the client and the rest of the team.
- “Launch Event”
How to explain it: NO, this is not like a rocket launching physically. This is an event to start a campaign.
What it really is: A launch event simply is the start to a campaign or the opening of a new event, company, etc. Typically it is to start a campaign, and the media are invited, along with certain people in the community. Sometimes these are open to the public, but often times they are closed events that the media are allowed to cover easily, and publish quickly to get the news out. These can be really fun! And after a lot of hard work that has gone into a campaign, this is normally a really big sigh of relief for the client and the PR company as well.
How to explain it: It’s just a big plan that we came up with.
What it really is: A campaign is an extensive and detailed plan to promote and push out a product, brand, event, partnership, etc. An effective campaign starts with research, and after analysing that research the team is able to put together a strategic plan, including specific tactics, guidelines, approaches, marketing, imagery, context, design, and a way to record and analyse the data collected throughout the campaign timeline. After pitching the campaign to your client (and almost always making changes to the plan) the team can implement the campaign, working hard throughout the time period to make sure everything goes as planned. Once it is all finished, the team then takes the data from the run time of the campaign and analyses it, and then assesses what went well, and what needs improvement. That’s what a campaign is.
How to explain it: Nike commercials.
What it really is: Skillfully crafted videos, pictures, digital animations, new forms of technology, airplane banners, bus wraps, billboards, magazine spreads, newspaper sections, handouts, flyers, posters, cards, emails, flags, memes, gifs, banners, and more. Basically anything that has been designed to push a product can be considered an advertisement.
If, after explaining everything with the help above, maybe just have them watch Mad Men and hope for the best!