Germaine Aboud has been interning with the marketing department at Vuelio for the past month. An Economics and Politics graduate, this is Germaine’s first exposure to PR, public affairs and communications, so we asked her to share what she’s learned about our industry.
For someone who knew nothing of PR and comms, I have come a long way. Before working at Vuelio, I thought PR solely consisted of drafting press releases. I did not expect it to be based so much on strategy and the creation of narratives to align with an organisation’s agenda and achieve your goals.
The use of technology, and specifically tailored software, to manage public relations truly revolutionises the whole industry, especially when one looks at the extent to which it overlaps with marketing agencies and public affairs.
For the past month, I’ve been working on a research project to support the marketing department. This allowed me to interact with different departments in the company and greatly enhanced my knowledge of the PR industry and how it’s using communication and reputation management software. Here are four things I’ve learned about the PR industry:
1. PR is people and social trends
Even a press release is all about people and understanding what they want to hear and how they’ll react. Knowing how to brand yourself, a product or whole organisation is based on observing societal trends and responding to them. Studying these trends and the changing norms is where PR software is essential, especially with the increasing social media presence in societies. Being able to monitor these changes on a large scale on one single platform expedites an organisation’s response to rapidly changing trends
2. It is hard to quantify the industry
The PR industry overlaps with many others, particularly the content marketing industry, which makes it hard to quantify. Many companies combine their PR and content marketing strategies to ensure brand message consistency, to facilitate content outreach and share budgets. However, PR still takes precedence over marketing in crisis management.
3. The Comms in ‘PR and Comms’
It’s a recurring theme in every industry and job description: communication skills. However, in PR it goes beyond that. Communication in PR is how to strategically manage relationships with the public, which consists of multiple stakeholders that your brand/image must appeal to. The challenge is that each one of these stakeholders speaks a different language that PR campaigners must learn in order to respond to their concerns and desires. Again, this is where PR software is essential to map out your stakeholders and study their social needs.
4. Narrative, narrative and narrative
This is probably the most interesting aspect of PR, in my opinion, as it brings together everything mentioned above. Controlling the narrative is the goal. By understanding your audience, social trends and how to communicate your message, the narrative is born and should resonate with your audience.
Ultimately, the PR and communications industry does not have the same reputation internally as it does externally and it’s fascinating to learn how strategic communications can make the difference between success and failure. It’s been a steep learning curve, but I’d recommend this industry to anyone.