Christina’s Coffee Talk: With the Parents of PRBC

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Family on sofa at beach
This week’s coffee talk was inspired by a question that I am sure most people in PR have answered: “What exactly is it that you do?” So instead of making another PR professional answer this question for the millionth time, I turned to the people who never seem to get it: my parents. But I couldn’t let them have all the fun, so I had PRBC ask at least one of their parents too. I have to admit, I thought the answers were going to be more off base, perhaps confusing PR with marketing or advertising but I was definitely wrong.  Overall I think they did a pretty good job, but I’ll let you decide.

“What exactly is it that, you think, I do all day?”

Marie’s Mom:

Marie & Mom

“You come up with concepts (outside of the box ) to support the business and deal with a lot of women and tries to get publicity (in the applicable media) for their clients. You write communications for clients and media. You also monitor social media for your clients and attends/coordinates events to promote clients. Also – you have great taste in mittens.”

CT’s Mom:

“You’re an account manager for specific clients focused on advocating for the client and securing appropriate public relations coverage based on their contract with the company. Your focal point, is to ensure clients are receiving the contracted services specifically negotiated between the agency and the client. You’re also responsible for client satisfaction and new business opportunities.

Jess’s Mom:

“I think you look for ways to promote products or services. Once you have done that you meet with clients to present ideas. You then cold call or email your services or products to different organizations to get them to promote them.

I am probably totally wrong because I do not understand this PR thing for nothing so I am completely guessing.”

Kate & Parents

Kate’s Mom & Dad:

“You represent clients and you provide PR… I’m having a rough day.” [Mom]

“You council people on how to present their image to the public.” [Dad]

Keith’s Mom:

“You access the clients’ strengths, and communicate to the public in a creative way through various forms of media. This allows the client to see how its product gets out to the public.”

Tj & Mom

TJ’s Mom:

“While in the elevator each morning you change into your alter ego, TJ Dietderich, social media person extraordinaire!  After greeting Dawn at the front desk you busy yourself with interactive marketing stuff.  Later in the day you shyly accept the praise from the superiors for a job well done!  (Actually, I have only the vaguest idea what this job entails!)”

Heather’s Dad & Mom:

“You are responsible for the image of the company you are representing, good or bad. Also head off any negative that may come up. You research ways to get client positive press release.  Keeping the name in the public eye.” [Dad]

“I have writers block.” [Mom]

Christina & Mom

Christina’s Mom:

“Oh God. You make a lot of calls, network, and create an idea to pitch to the media. You gotta sell that your clients are worth the time to get the free exposure.”

Sherri’s Mom & Dad:

[Note:  It seems like they’re both stuck on the lawyer thing. I haven’t practiced in five years. ]

“You’re an attorney that doesn’t practice anymore and building up your walkie-talkie business. You do  everything for it – sales, marketing and operations.” [Mom]

“You’re an attorney who had a career in finance and now you’re an entrepreneur.” [Dad]

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  • http://twitter.com/KOttavio Kate Ottavio

    Oy, I caught my mom at a bad moment. Ha! She knows what I do. I talk to her everyday. That Glormiester…she's too cute :)

  • http://twitter.com/stina6001 Christina K

    TJ told me she can hear my mom say “Gawd” lol

  • sandralm40

    I would be scared to ask my parents what they think I do for a living. I'm sure they would say something pretty funny and BonJovi related.
    Great article, it's nice to see that some parents are with it and others (like mine probably) are still in denial (the lawyer).

  • http://twitter.com/brenleigh Brenda Drake

    I love the *extra* personal touch on this post. Thanks to everyone for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/stina6001 Christina K

    I thought many of us could relate :) Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Becki

    Awesome! When I did artist PR my mom said, “So… the label signs the bands and then you make them famous?” Haha – I wish!

  • valeriesimon

    Loved reading this… actually bought back some great memories for me… in a bit of a reverse fashion. My Dad, who was in investor relations, loved to ask the question, “What do you think I do?” to me and my friends… pretty much anyone who was around (my reaction was always the same “Daaa- aad.”) But I grow up with an understanding of investor relations (and how it differs from public relations), and valued his role as a professional. It's nice to get to know your family from a different perspective.

    So props to the PRBreakfastClub parents… they are listening. And here's my question. What is it you think your parents do all day? (their reactions too please!)

  • http://twitter.com/stina6001 Christina K

    So glad you enjoyed the piece and it could bring back some good memories. :)

    Dad: worked as a Sales Rep for Levi's Strauss & Co. When I was younger I just thought “Dad gives clothes to some really cool stores and I got clothes in return” – he would just laugh at me I'm pretty sure.

    Mom: For most of my child hood she was a stay at home mom, keeping my crazy family together. I think she missed it so much when we grew up that now she's a teacher's aid in an elementary school. :)

  • rachelakay

    Christina – What a fun post! I'm actually excited that your parents were so close! They came a lot closer that mine might. Love the creativity that actually makes some valid points about the perception of what we do.

  • rachelakay

    Christina – What a fun post! I'm actually excited that your parents were so close! They came a lot closer that mine might. Love the creativity that actually makes some valid points about the perception of what we do.

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