Public Relations vs. Real Public Relations

by PR Coach on April 18, 2011

PR can be effective

Is your public relations rich, vibrant, fulfilling?

Don’t you just love the serendipity of social media? That’s what led me to consider what defines “real” public relations today.

I was browsing for ideas about PR internships when I discovered a brilliant little post called Marketing vs. Real Marketing.

Published on June 8, 2009, this anonymous post was only 92 words but it contained Zen-like insight on plain-vanilla marketing vs. “real” marketing and what it takes to be brilliant instead of bland.

The context for that post was internships. It compared a beautifully organized resume with a great reputation. It contrasted an Ivy League diploma with four faculty members calling corporations on your behalf. A world-class elevator pitch vs. a world-class product or a cool logo compared to a product people can’t stop talking about. How about amazing interview skills vs. amazing job skills?

In the world of internships, this was the essence of real marketing!

It inspired me to reflect on the essence of PR vs. real PR in similar fashion:

  • Sending out a news release vs. telling a life-changing story.
  • Spraying and praying vs. providing valuable resources to media.
  • Media relations vs. media relationships.
  • Shouting via your social media channels vs. listening, acknowledging and engaging.
  • Asking questions vs. providing answers.
  • Speaking to stakeholders vs. creating a community.
  • Buying influence vs. earning it.
  • Spending money on a problem vs. solving it.
  • Making a donation vs. making a difference.
  • Talking about vs. doing something about.
  • An image or a brand vs. a reputation.

We all have just so much time and only limited resources. Real public relations is rich, vibrant, challenging and inspiring. Are you just practicing public relations or are you doing real public relations and making a difference? In my view that’s what makes a real PR professional.

Have you any favorite real PR practices you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments below. Really!

Photo Credit: Maistora via Flickr

Author:  Jeff Domansky is Editor, The PR Coach

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