It’s been over two months, almost three actually since I have blogged. Not good. And not recommended. It has been a busy few months for sure, both professionally and personally. The PR industry is changing rapidly and I find it exciting and daunting all at the same time.
It makes me think back to when I started my career almost 13 years ago (yes, I am getting old). I started as an administrative assistant to an EVP at a top ten PR agency in NYC. The agency as I knew it no longer exists, but some of the same people are there. During my short stint as an admin, I learned more about business in general, and about PR, then I think I ever did in school. I worked for a very demanding EVP who at the time ran the “Tech Practice” as well as the New Business Department. My sole responsibilities were typing memos (via dictaphone), binding presentations and making sure his kids were signed up for Kids Camp (ski) at Stowe. There were many other tasks of course, but I soon mastered them and moved on to be a Junior Account Executive, Account Executive, then Senior Account Executive.
So, media was my game. First it was doing clips. I have tried explaining this to some of the younger staff I work with, but yes, we would get clips in the MAIL that we would need to find mastheads for and work magic on the copy machine to make them look “good”. There was no scanning or PDF. Then as an Account Executive, my media relations turned into event manangement in some cases and also pitching the media – via FAX and MAIL. Again, not comprehensable to anyone starting out in PR today. And press kits? Yes, we stayed at work until the wee hours of the morning putting them together and yes, we did MAIL them. Labels and all.
Today of course, things are 100% different – tactically at least. There is still a need to reach the influencers for our clients, but no longer is it just the media. And no longer is it a one-way communication strategy – it shouldn’t be anyway. Engagement is a word that is frequently overused, but it must become standard.
So, today, I reflect on the industry I have spent my “working life” in. And, it’s pretty neat.