Spinning to the Dark Side
By Peter Adams, Account Executive
When I was starting out my career, one conversation really stuck with me. At the time, I was mulling over whether to pursue a career in journalism or PR. I had my sights on a particular PR role when a friend fired back with something to the effect of, “Ooh, PR…joining the dark side, are we?”
It was a bit of an eye roller to hear but it is a perception that many people seem to have about PR. The industry has carved out a reputation for being pernicious, a Star Wars-type Dark Side of sorts. But is this even true? Join me as we take a journey spinning to the ‘Dark Side’, or as I like to call it, working in PR today.
Tales from the ‘Dark Side’
A select group of organisations and agencies distorts the public’s perception of what PR as a whole is like: think tobacco or big pharma, or even political parties. To many, PR is all about damage control: spinning people, political movements or corporations out of trouble, which does happen, but actually represents just a fraction of what the industry is all about.
At Eleven Hundred Agency, we focus on the B2B tech sector, so rather than twirling my moustache from inside a volcano lair, my typical working week as an account executive is nothing so melodramatic. One day, I might draft a press release or ghost-write an article addressing a newsworthy topic. Or I might be pitching a story idea to a reporter.
Another day, I might be arranging a briefing with an analyst, attending an event or helping clients with their social media strategies. Clients come to us, wishing to raise their overall brand awareness among businesses looking for the very technological solutions they offer, and clients are also keen to ensure they have credibility among peers.
Out into the world
The PR industry has a reputation of being viewed as something malign or manipulative, but in our line of work, it’s actually educational more than anything. Our clients see a need in the market place for technological solutions which they can offer, or they’re growing and wish to hire new talent, but they need the compelling words to get that message out there. We step in and must be strategic on their behalf, identifying how best to reach out to the client’s intended audience.
However, you may be surprised to hear but our powers only go so far: we can inform and educate, but it’s ultimately up to the reader to make an informed decision whether to take action. Our words may go far and wide, but once they’re out there, it’s down to the audience to decide.