It happens all the time - I'm out in company of new people and that obligatory "What do you do?" question pops up. Apart from making me groan inside, mostly because I'm a doer rather than an explainer, I give the short answer - "I help businesses build brand awareness, which in turn would helps them increase their bottom line.” More often than not the answer is "Oh right, nice" and that's that.
In essence, I'm more of a doer and by far, a better listener. This trait makes my personality very suited to doing a great job for my clients. Basically, PR, although is seen as a very social job (and it can be to a great degree) is more about listening than talking. When I meet a potential client for the first time I like to listen to their story, really get a feel for what they're about and gather as much information in order to help me support them. Sometimes clients want fast answers and on the spot ideas but like any good house, a good foundation needs to be put in first so I thrive to get to the bottom of a story before creating a master plan.
Rather than jumping head first and offering the moon and stars, we work out clear and honest expectations of their story and what would be entailed in achieving the best coverage for my client. This takes time and consideration and quite a bit of thinking and preparation. This part is often the piece that the client doesn't recognise but this is what makes the difference in the long term.
Later, when I return to go through the plan they would realise that PR is much more than drafting a press release and pressing the SEND button. It is about finding the 'hook' that makes their business different to their competitors and how that 'hook' can help them stand out.
If I had a euro for every time a client said "We can't be seen to do that" or "That will take too much time" or "I really don't want to have to make much of an effort" I could retire in the morning. These expressions tell me that a client’s understanding of PR is limited and if I can’t change that mindset then there really is no point in furthering the relationship. Walking away from what seems like an amazing client is a hard thing to do, however after 12 years in the business I have learned to accept that some businesses unfortunately will remain on the shelf in terms of PR.
What makes PR work for one business and not for another is Attitude. The person or business with a great go for it attitude will always trump the one who is afraid to take the plunge. It's not all about big budgets; it's mostly just about great ideas and having the courage to run with them.
To finish up, I will quote a great philosopher and a great businessman in his own right, "He who dares wins!" - Del Boy
DMpr offers one to one mentoring for businesses who want to learn how they can utilise PR for their brand with Mentoring and Workshops