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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!

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio


  1. Stephanie Lough says:

    I love the Facebook and the Twitter! Even if that is all anyone understands about the job in the public relations.

  2. Alison Bailin says:

    This is far better than what my mom always says – Alison has a job where I get to go to all sorts of fun things for free. Gee mom, thanks!

  3. Gini Dietrich says:

    Hilarious! Especially the rolling of the eyes and the busy body parts.

  4. Stephanie Lough says:

    I think my mom would say I do something “that requires trendy outfits and needs to be modern all the time.” I’m okay with that thought.

  5. I love this. Now I see where you get the ability to think on your feet. It might be in HMA’s best interest to put Mrs. Fink on the payroll as a spokesperson and official ambassador.

    The photo is adorable. This just might be my favorite blog post ever.

  6. Charlotte says:

    I love the “the” Facebook and “the” Twitter. LOL!
    Great job, Abbie’s Mom. Can she teach this to the rest of our parents?

  7. Bob Reed says:

    My mom still has no clue…

  8. Barbara Maack says:

    That’s truly impressive, Abbie! Sounds like your mom would be great in the biz, too. She made it so easy to relate. Now, I have to go have a salad. I’ll be thinking of you and sending positive vibes for your crops.

  9. Love that!
    My mom still doesn’t quite understand what I do. She tells everyone I watch TV for a living.
    Gotta love moms!

  10. That is FAR better than my mom would do! Every time I get a new client she asks, “so, what are you going to do for them?” LOL, it makes me crazy!

  11. Ken Jacobs says:

    Hysterical post. Now I want to ask my mom to explain what I do for a living. Or maybe not!

  12. My mom always calls us HMA Publications.

  13. Sandra says:

    Love my mom she is the best. So are you getting into produce now?

  14. Nicole Rose says:

    Abbie I absolutely love this post. After 20 years in the business my family still cannot come close to articulating what I do. In fact what I find ironic is that my family tells everyone I am in PR…no mention of branding whatsoever…which is what I primarily focus on. But like any other marketing buzz word, people tend to use them interchangeably. So, I guess I should be happy they at least know what industry I work in. That’s a start.

  15. Deb Dobson says:

    Abbie, what a great post. For years I was a business consultant and would try to explain to my mom what I did and she would always say “as long as you’re happy.” When I was in IT, she was a bit more happy as she could say “Deb is in IT.” Now that I’m marketing/social media…well, she rolls her eyes and we’re back to the original roll of the eyes. Having a sister who is a nurse doesn’t help things LOL.

  16. […] My dear friend and fellow PR pro wrote my favorite post about PR for the HMA blog four years ago. I still think about it when people ask me to explain my chosen career path. With Abbie’s permission, below is public relations as explained by Abbie’s mom, and you can view the original post here. […]

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