Why I chose PR? I was in a quagmire. I thought of being an accountant. But what did I really want to do? Like really do? Did I want to sit behind a desk, in a cramped up cubicle, dreaming of gouging my eyes out, running numbers, going mad one figure typed into excel at a time, confused, fatigued and crying and ultimately not seeing the tangible results of my work? Oh and dressed in a lazy man’s suit.
No…No I did not.
So I researched what careers would give me the opportunity to learn, meet people, collaborate and apply creativity. Somehow like a vision accompanied by a Hallelujah chorus, PR called me. Okay sure, I’m being dramatic. But I chose PR.
Someone asked me, “Ah you want to be like Samantha Jones eh?”
Trust me I am a Sex and the City avid watcher, maybe not the kind that re-watches it every year or remembers each episode and the names of each lover or applies the girls’ experiences to his own love life. It saddens me to disappoint you. Miss Samantha Jones was indeed not my inspiration for a Public Relations career.
I could see on this person’s face that she thought I wanted to party and hold a cocktail and schmooze all day and be free, unbound to rules and dress like a silly pedestrian. That’s simply not what PR is about ladies and gentlemen.
While trying to understand PR, a freelance publicist on an information interview told me it’s about being creative, competitive, analytical and collaborative. Umm I was mind blown. Because those words have echoed throughout my little life. At eight years old, I once sabotaged the opposing debate team so I could win. If anyone is competitive it’s me. Not that PR is about sabotaging your competitors. IT’S NOT. Creativity and collaboration should listed be in my birth certificate. Seriously. PR is about using your connections and creativity to find new inventive ways to promote your client so they accomplish a particular goal. And by being competitive you’ve realized that you must give your very best to each client. After all you cannot be the only PR agent in town. You need to keep pushing yourself for newer better tactics.
Last summer when the ice bucket challenged ruled the day and frankly the world, that’s when my eyes became tuned to a whole world of possibilities, career-wise. The campaign had been staged for people to share or pass from one another. It was a strategy that blew up on social media and got people talking about the disease and participating in the fun challenge and at the end people donated millions to the research and cure of ALS. I love how easy it was to share and how its ability to organically grow on social media expanded its reach so everyone could talk about ALS. I too want to get people talking about my clients through my creatively crafted campaigns and I want to see the results of that hard work.