Wednesday, January 18, 2012
With a nod to Tom Chambers’s post on five things to know before dating a journalist, here’s a similar guide to embarking on a relationship with a PR professional.
Here are four things you should know about dating a PR pro:
Our relationships are our top priority.
Because our job involves satisfying the needs of multiple people, we’re good at relationships. We’re good at mediating, moderating, and making things happen. “Fantastic,” you’re thinking, “this all sounds lovely.”
Oh, wait, did you think we meant our “relationship” with you? Oh, goodness, no. We have vast networks of contacts; we have more “relationships” than Richard Branson has islands. (Actually, that’s a rubbish comparison—he has only one.)
The fact is, we are people people, inherently social, and we will undoubtedly know at least three times more people in the bar than you do.
We’re very positive.
Come to us with a problem, and we will always give you a solution. We like turning situations around—so much so that sometimes you might forget how things actually were in the first place.
Some people call this spin, but we don’t. We prefer to think of ourselves as incredible storytellers; there will never be an awkward silence over dinner when we’re around, ever.
We know what’s hot and what’s not.
We are very much on the ball in terms of what’s hot or not. We work six months in advance, so we live that way. Early adopters, some might say.
When you think something’s cool, chances are we’ve been there and done that—most likely at an industry event. Some of these industry events require us to exist on a diet of champagne and the odd canapé, normally handed out at the latest “unbookable” restaurant. We can be a little tricky to wow at dinner.
We’re incredibly efficient.
Returning to the “everybody” of my first point, we have a lot of people to stay in touch with, so we are rather good at organization.
However, this makes for an incredibly packed schedule, so you could find yourself being allocated a time in the ever-present BlackBerry calendar, possibly as a weekend or evening activity.
You could also find dinner interrupted by the red flash of the BlackBerry, alerting us to an essential social media checking appointment. Please just allow us to ensure each of our social networks is up to speed; it won’t take a minute. The world could end if you prevent us from doing this.
With that, you are fully briefed on what to expect from your other-half—the good, the bad, and the sometimes-baffling traits of PR people. Treat us well, and you’ll become like a favorite client: We’ll want to spend all our time with you.
Laetitia Redbond is an account executive at Flagship Consulting in London. A version of this story first appeared on the company’s blog.