PR needs a new generation of storytellers

One of the problems we’ve always had in the Public Relations business is that not enough people understand what PR is.

There are various reasons for that, among them the fact that PR people have difficulty in explaining what they do for a living.

That’s a lot easier if you’re a brain surgeon, a salesman, or a lorry driver.

Some PR people don’t help by making the business sound complicated.

My old boss used to tell potential clients that if they were listening to someone talking about PR and didn’t understand what was being said, they were talking to the wrong person.

A classic industry description says: “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

I’d have a hard time telling that to a friend over a game of dominoes in our local back in Wales.

For me, PR has always been a lot more down to earth. It’s about telling stories to let people know what our clients do, what they think, and what makes them stand out.

We tell our stories via all branches of the media, and today that means digital – from websites to social platforms - as well as print and broadcast.

There’s more to it than that of course, and the digital age has changed the way we work.

But great story telling ability is still the key to good PR.

Give me a good story teller any day over someone who knows how to write a strategic plan, but struggles to give clients much in terms of practical results.

This is something all entry level PR hopefuls should bear in mind. The same goes for those making a living out of PR education and training.

Send us young people who understand what makes PR work outside the classroom. A new generation of good story tellers.

Tony Lewis, CEO