Nic Barnes – Junior Account Executive at Spreckley
The recent pictures from the set of Ab Fab: The Movie instantly reminded me of my first day of university, specifically, a painful ice-breaking session in which my peers and I were asked to give our primary reason for opting to study public relations. Out of 21 responses there were 16 references to both Samantha Jones and Edina from Absolutely Fabulous and no one quite grasped what PR entailed.
Nearly six years later my friends still ask what it is I do, utterly convinced my job description must include champagne drinking, attending parties and very little else. (Un)Fortunately that is far from the truth! The CIPR defines public relations as the act of establishing and maintaining relationships between an organisation and its publics – yes, parties can be part of the job but there is a lot more to it than that. Even with this definition my friends still struggle with the “publics” part, often only familiar with a dictionary definition where a ‘public’ means a ‘general body of people’. In the PR world, where targeted communication is key, a public can be defined as a specific audience we are trying to reach – this audience can vary immensely within a single campaign, industry or PR sector.
At Spreckley one of our key client audiences is the end consumer, and within this audience there are various groups to target, categorised on their interests, age, gender, location & more. To reach these groups and convey to them our clients’ core messages, we work alongside a number of media professionals to engage their readers – this is where the relationships come into play. In consumer relations there is no single communication method or platform to suit all; each audience has differing interests and absorbs content in different ways. Working with and researching the media provides an opportunity to learn to understand the audience’s needs, so when we’re pitching or distributing content in any form we find ways to tailor this content to suit these interests in an audience specific, engaging manner.
Maintaining relationships is a full time job, which is evident if you’ve ever had the pleasure of hanging out with a PR person. Whether having post-work drinks on a Friday or attending Sunday brunch, PRs are constantly on their phones, checking emails and making sure they’re on hand to provide journalists and clients with anything they may need. For this reason the champagne tends to stay on ice; the Ab Fab moment will have to wait until every email has been read.