Everyone working in public relations has suffered the jibes about it being fluffy and about balloon releases. It is a stereotype that has been developed and taken hold over many years. The portrayal of PR people on television hasn’t helped the situation and has reinforced this view.
We have to work hard to change this situation and finally banish the old PR officer stereotype. I have been thinking about this and whether we have encouraged this view and if there is something inherently within the industry that has supported this impression.
Of course we all know people that may be that PR stereotype but they are few and far between. Most people I know working in the industry are professional and dedicated to what they do. It doesn’t make them serious all the time but it does make them concerned about how they present themselves.
The world of PR is focuses on the positive things in life and making the best out of situations. For business selling something it can mean the difference between people parting with their money and walking away. In the public services it can mean investment in the area and a brighter future. When people are feeling good they are more likely to get involved and help others and their community.
All that is great but it doesn’t mean the work is fluffy or unnecessarily happy. Communication professionals work in many industries and businesses and they can be quite gritty places to be. The work in emergency services communication can feel a world away from the positive aspects of PR, but it isn’t and it shouldn’t be.
Now is the time that PR needs to reclaim its identity and show it is about improving lives.