Monday, April 16, 2012

Public Relations: Stilettos or Barefoot Poor?

The hardest part being a public relations practitioner is to explain to your family or to our friends in what you are really doing.

My friends always think that I’m in organizing events and my family always thing that I’m in advertising. Whenever I tell the older generation of what I’m doing in Cantonese, they will look at me with “what?!” kinda express coz PR in Cantonese is “Kung Kuan” which has negative connotation.

Honestly, I don't have a clue on how to explain what I really do. To be short, I just explain to them I’m the middle liaison person between the media and the client. Actually, what I really do is to push my clients’ messages or latest products to the masses in which media is the most strategic tool as they have the highest and easier reach. You may ask why the clients have to opt PR since they can opt to channel its allocation to advertising. Advertising is highly expensive and revolves only limited media, while PR is slightly cheaper and it can reach larger audience.

So my baby asked me whether do I love my job. Somehow, I do really love my job. Really, seeing my written press release in the media, seeing events in the media are really satisfying.

So how I landed in PR industry? Actually, I just gave a try as my long-term career, never knew, I have been doing this for more than two years now. Trust me, the industry is a vibrant and competitive industry, you really have to be energetic and be prepared at all time to know what is going on around you.

You might think PR is a glamorous job by meeting VVIPs and celebrities, and dealing with the media, but you’re wrong; definitely no, most of the time; I’m hitting my head on the wall as it is very stressful and things will never go smoothly.

So what it takes to be a PR practitioner?

Write more, speak less

A lot of my friends thought that I need to talk a lot with all sort of people for networking sake. Nah, I don’t. In fact, 70% of the job scope comprises writing while remaining is speaking. What to write? Press release, media pitch, media advisory, PR proposal, letters, advertorial and the list goes on.

Patience, patience and patience

There is no room for impatience in PR. Trust me, nothing goes smoothly, last minute changes and the high demands from the clients are just the daily routine. Really, there was an event recently that the time had been changed for more than 10 times! Which means I had to reorganize everything again to fit the revised time. I kept it cool and didn’t break hell lose. My tip is if you’re impatience and hot-tampered kinda person, please don’t; please don’t harm your colleagues.

Be good in scratching your face

Not literally but that’s a Chinese saying which means, “ruin yourself pride”. If you’re good at it, you will reach your goal easily. Seriously, you really have to persistence and disregard your pride to keep chasing the suppliers or the media – Politely turn your favours to requests and politely turn your requests to demands.

Keep and remember contacts

You can’t do thing alone in this industry; you need hell load of contacts to help you out. I know business cards will make your desk messy but please don’t throw them away. Keep it. Though it may seem those cards are not useful for you, but trust me, you will need them someday.


Sometimes I really wish I’m the Goddess of Mercy with Thousand Hands. Seriously, sometimes the loads are so heavy and everything is all about to due. The wisest thing to do is to calm down and put your tasks into a bigger picture and check which one to go first and which can be delayed. Sorry to say, there is no delay in PR, every second counts. Leverage the extra seconds you have and make things work.


  1. hi im just new hear.actually just wanna kno your experience for pr position interview.what they really ask or want to see from us?
    i hope you can share with me.

    my email

  2. Hey Rathiqah,

    thanks for ur comment.

    Well, we are looking for someone who is cheerful, bubbly, energetic, non-timid and street smart.

    But PR is not just talking, 70% of job scope requires writing =)

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