Closer encounters with the PR kind

I found a wide range of activities running smoothly; all integrated to garner goodwill. Internal communications, consumer relations, community relations, corporate social responsibility  techniques, crisis communication, press relations and government relations fall under this wide wingspan. My job was to sit open-mouthed and awe-struck, watching all those textbook terms come to life! Yet, in such a different manner from the definitions I had learned by rote and spun out in my answer sheets at college.         Augmenting corporate communication activities also meant that as PR personnel, we were sounding boards for plans to connect to the media in the most effective means possible. My new role models were those strange PR folks who spent all their efforts on simply persuading and changing attitudes of their client’s various publics.

Dear good ol’ public relations definition, you sound as easy as a nursery rhyme compared to the real thing. From conception to launch, from placement to coverage, from generative beginnings to success story, I was going to be part of all the activities that made sure the clients were heard in all the right places. Not bad at all!

Simply making a noise and gaining attention wasn’t going to go the whole way when building a brand, a colleague said. You had to learn to see the pictures inside the heads of your publics, their images of themselves, of others, of their needs, of their purposes and relationships –inexplicable riddle, this public opinion. Yours truly would soon learn how to put out feelers, right at the grass root level to reel in this opinion and to implement strategies accordingly, never considering public opinion a volatile consensus. In simple, less obnoxious terms I was going dive headlong into public affairs;respect the publics and try to know what made everyone tick. This was going to be interesting alright, I thought, humming a tune to myself.

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