Friday, January 13, 2012

Lessons in Public Relations, Week One

Day One: January 11, 2012

1. When A {the boss} asks for something to be done, she means 10 minutes ago, not 10 minutes from now.

I feel like I'm being overly dramatic and very Devil Wears Prada-ish, but turns out it's true. So be fast and be efficient.

2. When someone calls to cancel an appointment, find out why before they hang up.

Else A has to call them and that's kind of a waste of her time.

3. Make sure you know who's who and spell their names correctly.

Plus, it's so not cool if you've put their married name down and they're no longer married to that person. Awwwkward. Also, it's apparently advantageous to name-drop if you're in the PR industry. If someone signed up to attend your event with their maiden name, but their married name is more famous, go with the famous one. *shrugs*

4. Just because A says don't bother finishing something, doesn't mean she's serious. It just means she wants you to finish it AND get other stuff done.

She might need that something in the future, so it's better to be prepared than not.

5. Make lists. Because once A starts giving you things to do, she'll remember them all even if you don't.

That's how she got to where she is. So until you've honed the talent of keeping mental lists as well as she can, you'd be smart to start writing things down.

6. Get to the point and speak up. Tell her what you need to tell her and move on.

Time is precious. Prehhhh-shuuuuusss...
{Not actually a LOTR fan, but it fits. *grins*}

7. Think ahead and do what you can to make A's life easier.

Because what makes A's life easier, will make yours as well.


Day Two: January 13, 2012

8. The difference between public relations and advertising is that PR is material about a business that makes it to the editorial section and is unpaid for {this famous person and this famous person attended this event last night hosted by this company/person in honor of this charity}, while advertising is when companies pay for straight up promotions {donate money to this cause because this famous person is promoting it!}.

Does that make sense? Cause I finally get it now. PR is more subtle and sneaky. Advertising's INYOURFACE.

Now do you get it?

9. A fact sheet contains the basic information about a business {whowhatwherewhyhow}, plus any social media information/stats and press articles about the business.

These seem to be used to get a quick overview of the business and can be used to decide if you want them as a client {if they have really awful press, probably not}.

10. A press release is a short 1-2 page blurb about something meant to be mass sent to all media outlets that may be remotely interested, so they can use it in their articles/editorials if they so desire.

These can be about events that're being held by the business/where the business will be {trade shows, etc}, special promotions, ideas for why you might be interested in this product for holiday gifts, a new program they're launching, or anything else.

These get written really fast. Man, these guys are speedy.

11. A company profile is an intro to the business that gives people a feeling of what the business does/makes, who the people behind it are, and why they got started.

Kind of like a much better written and more in depth fact sheet.

12. Public relations is a lot of writing.

And they like their adjectives. Very much unlike DBM. I'm still getting used to being able to use dependent clauses before independent ones again. Love it.

13. Sometimes working with famous people is not fun.

Especially when they're over-controlling. Normal people may be nicer. At least from what I hear.

14. People who overwork expect everyone else to do the same.

I don't think my boss sleeps.

She seems disgruntled that everyone else does.


More to come as the weeks progress. Next week's should be interesting because I somehow found myself volunteering to go into work on Monday {we have the day off for MLK Day}, so I'll be there Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Why did I give up my one day of sleeping in? I plead temporary insanity. *deep sigh*

{Technically posted at 3:35am Saturday, January 14th, but Friday needs a post and the first half of this was written earlier than Friday, so it all evens out, right?}

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