It’s PR, not ER

The rhythm of blogging is like the rhythm of life.  Getting back into it after just a few days away from the key board is tough, but once you force yourself to write something, it just keeps on coming.

This post courtesy of an email conversation I had with Chris Clarke.

His post “It’s Midnight, Do You Know Where Your PR Firm Is?” really struck a chord with me as I remembered my first week in PR proper, working for Golin Harris UK, launching the Sendo X smartphone.

It was a very cool, very sexy piece of kit which was recently reincarnated as the first Motorola iTunes phone (I think).

After two weeks off work, it was a rude awakening to be plunged into an account team in the midst of planning and executing three events in one.  No, make that four events in one.

There were presentations to the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) technology media, to technology analysts and to investors in an ultra chic art gallery/industrial design space in the heart of London.

Simultaneous to the presentations was a cocktail reception downstairs and this was all followed by an elaborate dinner on a boat floating down the River Thames.

The events went off without a hitch (as far as I could tell) but the days leading up to the event were anything but relaxing.

There were people to follow up from multiple countries, there were hotel rooms to book, taxis to order (that was surprisingly difficult for some reason!) and, worst of all, name tags to make.

If you had asked me how long two graduates, one from the great Oxford University, would take to print up some name tags, I would have told you two, maybe three hours.

I would have laughed in your face if you had told me that I would still be in the office at 3am trying to format them.

I’ll say that again for emphasis. Three. In. The. Morning.

But while my fellow graduate and I were swearing at the printer, ripping up the pre-cut name tags which seemed to be anything but uniformly cut and messing about with mail-merging in Word, I heard a phrase that I’ve passed on countless times.

It’s PR, not ER.

So simple.  Four small words but a phrase to last a lifetime.

So my message to young PRs like Chris, to students looking to get into this crazy industry, to everyone huddled over a computer at 10pm sweating the small stuff:

It’s PR, not ER.

Yes, your job is important, especially in today’s landscape of social media, transparency, engagement and openness.  Yes, you have to do everything you do to the best of your ability.  Yes, you have to add value but when things don’t go right, ask someone for help. But, worst case scenario, no-one’s going to die if you don’t have a pile of clippings done on time.

No-one’s going to go into anaphylactic shock if you put “your” instead of “you’re” in a press release.  And no-one’s going to flat line (except for the AD on your account) if a media call doesn’t go as well as expected.

I Bet You Link Good On the Dancefloor – Artic Monkeys.  Links for Wednesday June 14, 2006

PR Work Wanted – The Globe and Mail ran an article yesterday giving advice to would-be PRs (may be subscription only after a while).  The only thing I’d add would be to start a blog to talk about your own impressions of the industry you’re trying to get into.  Worked for Chris!

The Business of Blogging – The Toronto Star asks if companies can hire bloggers to sell product without ruining the blogosphere.  They also reran a story about the Perils of on-the-job blogging from the New York Times

People want to interact with brands – Mike Manuel has something interesting to say about this as well

Social Media Services Gap – An oldie but a goody.  Mike Manuel riffs about the shallow talent pool in the PR agency world.  Why now?  You’ll find out soon

**Update – as I write this, I can see that it’s been a banner day for Blogging Me Blogging You.  I’ve passed, nay surged, through the 500 hit barrier and had the biggest day so far in BMBY history at more than 80 hits.  Let’s keep it up people!

Thank you all for your support and your continued readership.  Now all you need to do to make me a happy blogger is to leave more comments – this post has had a lot of interest recently so why not comment on it today?


2 Responses to It’s PR, not ER

  1. Mike M says:

    “It’s PR, not ER,” I’l have crib that one;)

  2. Great stuff. I spoke to the people I work with before I began my blog, which does give more details on clients than some and they were fine with it, even encouraged it.

    They will of course keep reading to ensure that I don’t mention anything confidential but generally if you are honest with your employers before you begin i’m fairly sure you can be quite open and truthful with a blog.

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