Extra Credit Post #10 — Two of the top 10 “most misunderstood” jobs and the top 10 answers of things only PR or social media professionals would understand

As a public relations (PR) or social media professional, have your parents or friends ever misunderstand or incorrectly explained what your job entails?

Don’t fret — you’re not alone. I’ve tried to explain over and over to my mom, family or friends what I do in strategic communication and plan to do with my degree post graduation.

As it turns out, PR and social media are two of the top 10 “most misunderstood” careers. Social media lands on lists at number three or four and public relations falls at number seven or eight of jobs that are nearly impossible to explain to people.

Back in September, I read articles on Buzzfeed, Business Insider and LinkedIn that stuck in my brain. So — inspired by “10 Things Only a PR Major Would Understand,” “10 Jobs That Are Impossible To Explain To Your Parents” and “Bring In Your Parents Day” — I crowd sourced and asked (via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram), “what is something only PR or social media professionals would understand?”

Well, the results are in, and here are the top 10 answers some of my social media followers said:

  1. A PR pro’s bible equals the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook.
  2. Coffee is a necessity in PR, and drinking more coffee than water is totally normal in this field.
  3. Active versus passive voice and when it’s acceptable to use passive voice.
  4. When people think that managing a company’s social media is just as easy as posting to a personal social media site.
  5. As a PR or social media pro, you’re “on call” around the clock.
  6. The actual difference between an objective, strategy and tactic.
  7. The oxford comma debate and when to use it.
  8. When someone recommends social media just to check off the box and neither has a plan for strategic communication nor an understanding of how social strategy works.
  9. In PR, we don’t settle for “good enough.” Our bosses expect us to prove that there is something bigger and better. And we show this through measurement, evaluation and research.
  10. The ABCs of strategic communication. (Anticipate. Be prepared. Communicate clearly). And if you didn’t succeed at first, it’s because you didn’t prepare well enough.

Do you agree with these results? Is there something more you’d like to add to this list? Feel free to tell me what you think something is that only PR or social media pros would understand.

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