“What is…Wednesday” – What is Public Relations? My Mom’s Take

Abbie and MomNow I know all of us in public relations have tried for our entire careers to explain what it is we do. And if you are like me, you’ve always been sure your parents really have no clue, “but as long as you’re happy, we’re happy.” Right?
We were in Minneapolis for a family wedding.  My 85-year-old cousin asked my mom “just exactly what does Abbie do for a living.”  And this is how my mom explained it:
Let’s assume you are a lettuce farmer. (The salad had just been set so it was the best she could do.) And you want everyone to know about your crops; well, you hire someone like Abbie to tell the newspaper and television reporters how great your lettuce is.  But maybe you have a bad crop one year, but thanks to the work that Abbie does, she’s able to tell the reporters about that and also tell them some of the other great things you are doing at the farm..
He goes on to ask, “how does she do that?”
She makes it a point to know all the reporters and editors at the different newspapers and television stations.  You know she’s quite the busy-body so this is perfect for her. (yeah, I know, my mom has that part dialed in J)
So then he asks my mom if “Abbie does the Twitter thing.”  And to that she says:
Yes, she does all that social media stuff. She uses the Facebook and the Twitter thing all the time (I’m sure there was a big emphasis on ALL and she probably rolled her eyes a bit as well.)  She even teaches other people how to use it.
Not bad, right?  So after 25+ years in business, I guess my parents really do know what I do.
Update: Throughout the years, HMA Public Relations’ (a Phoenix public relations agency) definition has remained constant. And Abbie’s mom has continued to learn even more about our scope of work!

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at Sep 14, 2011

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