Post #11 — What exactly do PR professionals do?

Going off my last post about things only public relations (PR) people would understand and how it’s one of the most misunderstood careers by family members or friends, explaining what exactly PR professionals do is also difficult.

But why is this industry so hard to explain and comprehend?

Well, for starters, PR has endless definitions and countless facets.

Some of my friends and family members view PR as an entity industry that only “fixes images” (also known as crisis communication) or a department that helps  “market products.” Many people misconceive PR as an unethical job where spin doctors manipulate the public, as a glamours job where you do publicity for celebrities — like Samantha Jones’ job on “Sex & The City” — or as a component of advertising where you pay for media impressions.

But many people do not realize that PR entails a lot of behind-the-scenes work and consists of unpaid (earned) media that is necessary to help tell a brand’s story to journalists — who, in turn, spread that story to the public. In other words, PR people help create stories worth spreading.

Although it may not seem like it at times, you can define the PR profession.

I interviewed Joe DiGregorio, an audit associate at KPMG, and Nate Harris, a manager at Bertucci’s, to have them share what they think PR professionals do in their jobs.

I also interviewed Steve Heck, an account executive at Braithwaite Communications (BC). Heck started in finance but switched his career to a field with more excitement, PR. Fittingly, Heck oversees BC’s financial clients. During Heck’s interview — he discusses what PR professionals actually do, gives an easy way to describe PR, and squashes family members or friends misperceptions about the PR industry.

I filmed the interviews of DiGregorio and Harris at Campus Crossings in Glassboro, N.J. I taped the videos of Heck and some examples of what he does in the PR field at BC’s office in Philadelphia, P.A.

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