I was out to dinner with a friend recently who’s a doctor in a very small town.
We hadn’t seen each other in a number of years and she asked me what it is that I do for a living. When I told her about my public relations company she asked, “what IS public relations?”
I haven’t had to explain that in quite awhile. It used to be more straightforward. PR firms and professionals worked with the media. I remember early on in my blogging days the times where I’d go to BlogHer and the PR firms there were scarce. Bloggers and PR firms were just starting their delicate dance of how to work with each other. (Have we figured it out yet? No!)
But in the six years I’ve been actively involved in social media, there’s been a transformation. Bloggers becoming marketers, marketers becoming bloggers and just about everything in between.
The lines between marketing, content production and promotion are getting increasingly blurred. And so my friend’s simple question became a not so simple answer.
If I take a look at public relations now, and how Caitlin and I operate our company, the mission is still the same: to get maximum brand awareness for our clients through various media outreach.
We’re just trying to get our clients media placements and a broader awareness with the general public. That’s what PR firms do – they build up brands.
So maybe it is that simple. We’re the folks behind the scenes making our clients look awesome to the general public. We’re the ones working the phones and email to get visibility to a variety of constituents. We’re the facilitators between TV producers, magazine and newspaper reporters, freelancers, bloggers, friends, and everything in between.
Because everyone apparently has their own media company now, it seems, and it’s getting harder to differentiate between the two. But you can’t be fooled – media is the outlet, not the conduit.
Do you agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts.