2nd March 2015

Defining PR

So what exactly is Public Relations? It’s the inevitable question most PR people hate facing at social occasions.

Finding a concise answer to this question for someone who doesn’t work in a business environment, without boring them to death, can be tough. You can choose to dodge it and mumble: “It’s a bit like advertising”. Or you launch into how you create engaging content suitable for a range of channels to help clients reach their target audiences…

Oh dear. They’ve glazed over.

Summarising what we do in a typical day can be tough. Mostly because no two days seem to be the same. This variety seemed to be a popular response to the CIPRs #lovecomms campaign as a key reason for why PRs enjoy their work.

Part of the variety stems from the pace at which the industry is evolving. Brands need campaigns to create content which really engages audiences. It’s difficult to do with the constant noise across social and media channels: battling everything from Madonna’s cape issues, breaking news and competitor campaigns for attention.

When devising campaigns for clients it’s essential that we help the brands and businesses we work for take ownership of ideas and issues which are genuinely interesting to their target audiences.

For example, we recently worked with our client British Gypsum (a plaster, plasterboard and drylining manufacturer) to create a roundtable event discussing the issue of Building Information Modelling (BIM). It’s a hot topic in construction – with Government regulations and programmes with adoption targets kicking in next year. We secured attendance from big names in the industry, including Kath Fontana, MD BAM FM who is a leading figure on BIM and the involvement facilities management professionals should have in the design process. A genuinely useful discussion and networking event for attendees, the activity will generate content which can be shared across all channels to demonstrate British Gypsum’s leading position on BIM.

This is typical of the day-to-day work we produce for clients, creating new and insightful content, research and discussions to help our clients demonstrate their industry leading work. The constantly changing ways we create news, events and content and the channels we share it on mean that defining PR is difficult. But aside from causing us awkward moments when making small talk, it’s what makes it such an exciting industry to work in.

By B2B account manager Jen Adams