I am often asked what I do.
When I tell people I'm a communication specialist and get a glazed look, I follow up with - I am a messenger.
Public relations trains you to be the messenger as well as to figure out what the message is, who needs to hear it and how best to deliver it.
Here is a basic outline of what I do:
Study the client, industry and firm.
Identify the groups who will be interested in a client's work.
Identify the messages / information important to each group.
Identify how to best communicate with the various groups who interact with the client's firm or organization - print, broadcast, internet - and develop a communications plan based on company goals and objectives.
Implement / deliver the messages regarding the client's product or service.
Report back what the market has to say about the client's products or services.
Repeat the cycle.
Effective PR moves continuously in two directions, messaging back and forth from client to market(s) and market(s) to client.
Never before have messengers had such sophisticated technology and skills to present products and services to the market.
Never before have messengers had the resources to identify and target specific groups so that messages and information may be tailored.
Well informed and polished messengers are highly sought after and messengers with experience or specializations can be well paid.
This is what we do.
Wikipedia defines PR as: "Put very simply, good PR encourages the media (newspapers, magazines, TV and radio) to say good things about your product/service or whatever it is that you want to promote so that more people buy your product/use your services/think you’re great."
However, it takes quite a bit of legwork to get to the point of speaking on behalf of the client, as seen above.