Take it away, Nancy:
At the beginning of the school year, my daughter’s first grade teacher was looking for parents and family members to come to the class to talk about our careers. Some folks have it easy. One parent is a judge. There’s a nurse and general contractor. There’s a biologist and an accountant. All of them have very tangible, relatable explanations that six and seven-year olds can understand.
Explaining PR to 30 first graders? That’s the challenge of my week. I can tell them what I do in a day.
While all this work between my brain and my fingers doesn’t yield a tangible widget, it does mean something. So, like Pete, I explain the results.
My first grader and her friends may not understand all the knowledge, experience and hard work that make those results a reality. They won’t understand the political minefields my colleagues and I navigate daily to produce websites, newsletters, blogs, and other tools and tactics. Their strategic planning ability is focused on figuring how to be just good enough to stay in the teacher’s good graces while having some silly fun in class.
However, soon they will understand more about the subtleties of language, the importance of strategy, and measuring your progress to determine the return on investment. For now, they will understand what they can relate to: making and keeping friends, working hard and doing your best, using great stories to teach others, and helping the community.
All in all, not bad for a day’s work.