The Chartered Institute of Public Relations defines PR as:
“The planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.”
That’s the overarching description. But what am I? To my mind, I’m a translator. In local government, all the services I work with have their own jargon, some of it very technical. And we do love to abbreviate: LSP, LDF or DCLG anyone?
I translate the information that services want to get out to their stakeholders, so that their audience/s – most often residents – can understand them. Dwellings turn into homes, refuse vehicles are transformed into bin lorries and Members become Councillors.
Another part of my job is to constantly ask “What’s in it for them?” and “What action to you want your audience to take?”. There needs to be proper substance to what’s being communicated, or there’s no point in doing it. Policies aren’t interesting, people and action are.
I also love spotting potential stories and shining a light on them. There’s a lot of great stuff going on at my Council. We all need to shout louder about our locales and the good things going on in them. Communications will lend you a loud-hailer.
Creative commons: focusin’ mind by miuenski on Flickr