Public relations for the rest of us

by Pari

I started working in public relations years before I realized that’s what it was called. I was always the person who enjoyed figuring out how to get people to come to events. I had no fear about contacting the media or digging into a story to find the right people to interview to get the information I needed. Writing, planning, strategizing (I know it’s not a word, but it should be), building relationships with organizations and people, being on camera or radio, all of these came as naturally as breathing.

And they were fun for me. I liked calling printers and getting bids; got a kick out of analyzing advertisements for the obvious and hidden messages; loved figuring how to write a message so that it said exactly what I wanted it to. Hell, I even liked proofreading.

The thing is, all of it interested me. I wasn’t intimidated, didn’t think I couldn’t do it — I just went for whatever was needed and had a good time doing it.

Now, more than 30 years later, I’m still enjoying it. But something has happened to my profession. People equate it with “spin” and, believe me, spin is a negative word. Or . . . they think that PR  is manipulative, fake and beneath them. Or they feel utterly overwhelmed by the need to do it.

Well . . . let me help.

I’m going to use this blog to write about public relations — as I see it — and eventually, I hope to take my posts and turn them in to an ebook that regular people — you, me, the guy down the street that has a store or the writer who wants to improve her sales — can use. Really use.

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  1. #1 by Jay Koch on October 2, 2010 - 3:42 am

    Pari,

    I think that if you can say it, write it, and convey the meaning you want, it’s a word. “Strategize” may not have passed muster with our English teachers when we were kids, but it makes sense, and we know what you mean when you say it.

    Now, “strategery” may be a different case…. 🙂

    jay

  2. #2 by parinoskin on October 2, 2010 - 8:43 pm

    Whew.
    Now, I’m trying to figure out what strategery might mean? A noun for the act of strategizing? As in, “The strategery was detailed but still irrelevant,” or “Don’t you talk to me about strategery, boy. I invented the stuff.”

  3. #3 by Michael Jasper on October 14, 2010 - 8:06 pm

    Great idea! I’ll be following this closely, Madame PR!

    • #4 by parinoskin on October 25, 2010 - 5:00 pm

      Mike,
      I know you know a lot about PR, but I hope you find some gems in here.

  4. #5 by Ryan M. Williams on October 19, 2010 - 4:05 am

    Looking forward to it Pari!

    • #6 by parinoskin on October 25, 2010 - 4:59 pm

      Thanks, Ryan. I hope it’s helpful.

  5. #7 by Thea Hutcheson on October 25, 2010 - 3:14 pm

    In my day job, strategize is a common business buzz word. And active word that involves thinking, planning, and acting. This is a great idea.

    Go!

    Thea

  6. #8 by Bob Sojka on October 25, 2010 - 6:09 pm

    Hi Pari,

    I look forward to your thoughts on this. We’ve had SOOooo much information about self promotion in our discussion groups this past year that for me, who is still struggling with consistency of creating product, I’ve had to let a lot of it pass until time and situation better warrants the shift in emphasis and attention.

    However…. and more to the point of your new endeavor, it seems that a lot of words/approaches have merged out there in the negative promotosphere (I coined that one… its all mine, but feel free to use it). The promotosphere now encludes advertising, propaganda, comment and analysis, spin and spin-doctoring and spin control, announcements and pronouncements, informational (fill in the blank, calls, flyers, emails, videos, tweets etc.), rapid response, “refudiation” squads, publicists and publicizing and publicity, and alas, even the sanctity of the word NEWS has been forever tarnished by opinion. Some media opine without ever simply reporting.

    So it isn’t surprising that PR has had some flees imigrate from the dogs it sleeps with. I will be anxious to see how you go about putting us back in touch with the light side of force inside the promotosphere. I know I invest a lot of energy in deleting without reading and hanging up without listening and changing channels because of promotional overload. How one cuts through all of that to put the recipient in a receptive frame of mind will be a point I’ll be particularly interested in hearing you tell us about.

    Good luck with the series. Can I put a link on my website?

    Cheers,
    Bob Sojka

    • #9 by parinoskin on October 28, 2010 - 10:25 pm

      Bob,
      Yes! Feel free to put a link. I think I’ll write about your point for my next blog post because it’s important. How can you be heard? Simple. By developing real relationships with your audiences. Otherwise you’re efforts will just be spam whether they’re online or on television or anywhere else.

  7. #10 by Sally Gwylan on October 28, 2010 - 8:38 pm

    ‘Strategize’ is definitely a word, and has been so (according to my Webster’s Collegiate) since 1921–almost 90 years! So don’t sweat it. Strategize to your heart’s content.

    Sally

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