Disagree if you want, but if they were being really honest (the kind of anonymous that usually only happens under the cloak of Internet anonymity, or the kind that comes after a 2-martini Happy Hour, depending on your level of personal expression) many business-types consider PR the soft-shoe of real marketing savvy. The blatant truth of the matter is, without relationships, business – like most of life – just doesn’t work. So it’s not like they eschew the idea of relating because it just doesn’t get much more obvious than that. No, it’s precisely because it IS so obvious that everyone thinks they don’t really need PR-people. After all – how hard is it to manage relationships.
If it’s that easy, there’s a whole lot of public relations experts out there masquerading as finance directors, marketing executives, advertising schleps, and CEOs.
Sure – in today’s high energy business environment, the mantra is “integrated communications,” and so PR has (perhaps grudgingly) earned a spot at the table. And in truly Fast Company-esque enterprises, there’s more than just a sense that relationships need to be the first thought, and not the afterthought, but still when tough business choices find their way to the board room, the sales managers will strut their product-emphasis, bottom-line dollar approach, and the finance types will hold forth on a dizzying array of market analyses spreadsheets, and the corporate leaders will reference the one course they had way back during their MBA days, and all will skeptically leer at the PR practicioner, waiting for her to launch into her namby-pamby soft-sell of ooey-gooey relationship strategy.
Most times, we PR types take it in stride. After all – we get relationships, so we get the core issues here. But there are other times when it’s just a bit wearing.
The thing is, when the chips are down, the House favors the PR person: when things are going great, it’s rarely the thought; but when things really go South, it’s all about how to massage, spin, communicate, and generally pay real attention to the relationships beyond lip-service.
The point of this blog is to talk about public relations – what it really, really means to build mutually beneficial relationships for an organization. What it really looks like to adhere to a doctrine of “thou shalt not spin”, and how – in the incredibly worn-down, overly reached, media drenched, skeptical market true public relations can and should function. The goal is to invite a dialogue about how we communicate – how we relate, which is the fundamental drive for PR people who get-it.
If you like that idea – and you are open to frank conversation without to terribly much ego-manical holding forth, stick around, weigh in, and let’s talk.