What Happens When You’re Friends With Someone in PR?
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Working in communications isn’t just drinking wine and schmoozing (you liar, Sex and the City). It’s a career where we learn to juggle, put out fires, please everyone, and drink our own Kool-Aid… a lot of it. It fosters a certain set of traits that almost always creep into the way we behave off the clock.
Some would say you’d be lucky to have a friend in comms, which is true (of course I agree), but that’s until those wonderful traits are used for evil. You may not even know it, but chances are you’ve been PR’d at one time or another. It’s like our super power. We keep it quietly hidden beneath our silk blouses and chequered button-downs until circumstances demand we wield it.
Here are a few of the top challenges you may face as a friend of one of us PRs:
Pretending You Understand What We Do
Right?! We know you do it. Something about journalists. Something else about some messages. And what the frig is ‘seeding’, anyway? You’re destined for a lifetime of asking generic questions and nodding at the answers.
Having your texts and Facebook updates constantly grammar-checked
Even if we don’t tell you, we’re doing it. And we’re judging you. Hot tip, try the Grammarly plugin. It’ll spot the mistakes before you hit send (on your PC or tablet, at least).
You think this sounds like a good thing, but you are wrong. All that pleasing… all those people… it gets reeeeeeally tiring. So, when we’re with you, and we feel safe and warm, we let it all go. We’re so done with being nice that we don’t have much left for you.
All Those Lists
All the time. We’re pretty much paralysed until we write a list of what we need to do, then once that’s done we can spring into action. We’ll also give you lists and expect you to follow them with the same amount of enthusiasm. We’re not intentionally being jerks, we’re trying to make it easy for you to be as organised and productive as we are.
All That Communicating
It’s what we do. Remember that time you didn’t want to talk about that thing and hoped we’d just let it go? Nope, we like to talk. And we’re not afraid of getting into the awkward or frustrating detail. Let’s talk it out, make it better, and life can go on.
I love this term. Coined by a beautiful, former colleague of mine, it involves using bucket-loads of encouragement and positivity to get someone to do something. This colleague used it on me a few times, and, wow, the force was strong. Next time you wonder how you got yourself into a situation you weren’t keen on, take another look. Chances are you were key-messaged and positive-bulldozed. We have a way of wording things that makes everything sound like a good idea. It’s our most dangerous superpower. I may actually get kicked out of the secret club for even mentioning it, so don’t tell anyone I told you.
Don’t get me wrong; there are so many reasons why having a friend in PR is the best. thing. ever. We’re seriously cool, intelligent people.
But that list is pretty long, so I might save that for another day, another blog.