Before I go on, I'd like to get something off my chest - and that's really what drives the title of this blog.
I traded in a small, sparky agency loaded with ideas and opinions, to this big and very successful global one. One thing I've realised in two years, is that it is unwise to underestimate just how little people in a wider communications world, genuinely understand what PR is, what it's capable of, and how to use it. Books are being written, and people are making money out of conferences over a variety of issues - the death of advertising, the rise of PR, 'did you know You is Time's Person Of The Year?' (yes, I've seen the slide forty times now). Poor Brand Managers - they're like lambs to the slaughter.
Here's where PR fits in.
Think of it this way. You are a human being. You lost your mobile phone in a taxi on Monday. On Saturday, you know you've got to go down the shops and buy a new one. How do you decide which one to get? Do you:
a) rush home, stay in and watch the ads on TV all night waiting for the Motorola or Nokia ads to appear?
b) seek out the opinion of someone you trust?
Could be someone at work who always has the smart phone. It could be your child. You might buy a magazine. If you're digitally literate like us lot, you might go to Google and type in 'mobile phones', or even better, seek out the communities online who are full of opinions on them.
Our primary job in PR is to make sure that those opinions, stories and conversations are directing you to the 'our' part of the store. We have lots of help from advertising, retail marketing and so on - but that's what our job is. Make those positive conversations, stories and opinons flow.
PR 'sells' via the sources people actually trust. That's why I really fancy our chances of succeeding as a discipline. I just wish we'd all put the long words to one side, and concentrate on developing the ideas and stories that fuel those conversations, (whether it be selling products, looking after a corporate reputation, persuading people to buy stock in a company, or motivating a workforce). That's what we PR people are all paid to do.
I'll move on I promise.