The PR Industry – Three Lessons in Three Months
11 February 2022
Sam joined Sauce in June of 2021 as an Account Executive after completing her degree at the University of Wollongong. She penned this blog three months into the new world of Public Relations, sharing insights, learnings and reflections on her experience and the misconceptions she had entering the industry.
Despite studying double majors in both Marketing and Public Relations (PR) I always expected to end up in the marketing industry. To me, marketing was not only creative and analytical, but a fast-growing field and necessary for all businesses. Although marketing is all these things, I was surprised to find out that so is PR. In fact, PR has been so much more than I had expected in many ways.
Before starting at Sauce I had some previous marketing and social media experience but none as a public relations officer. So how’d I end up at Sauce? Great question. Sauce appealed to me because although it exists within the PR industry, we provide a whole range of services across internal and external communications.
Albeit a short time that I have been with Sauce, these are my observations of the PR industry, through some fresh eyes.
Things change constantly – but not in the way I expected
I certainly didn’t come into the position thinking that it was a smooth, calm ride all day every day. I was expecting a production mill of press releases, phone calls, media management and consistent monitoring of every media production company across the world to get clients as much attention as possible.
Although all these things certainly happen, it’s only a small portion of the work Sauce does, and it is far more intentional than I had anticipated. Rather than the classic ‘spin doctor’ stereotype I had subconsciously adopted, approaches to the media are deliberate and planned to result in meaningful and effective publication, not unproductive mentions in irrelevant outlets.
Despite the lack of hourly media management, the working environment is extremely dynamic with clients changing strategies and timelines almost on the daily. Events can be pushed backwards, brought forward and totally restructured in the space of a couple of days.
Everything is interconnected
Throughout my studies I had many lecturers and tutors make it clear that marketing and public relations perform two distinct functions. Entering the industry, I’ve realised that whilst they certainly can serve different purposes and use different techniques, it’s nearly impossible to do one well without the use of the other. It makes sense then, that Sauce has realised the importance of an integrated approach and has an extensive suite of services that cover both functions.
It’s not just products that need PR
PR is often associated with celebrities or product launches (at least that was my somewhat ignorant understanding) but PR is appropriate for every organisation regardless of its size or budget. Sauce in particular works with a significant number of service-based businesses and government and industry organisations.
Working with clients that don’t have an explicit product has encouraged a new understanding of PR and marketing. I can’t rely on a product, and its features to speak for the brand. That’s why PR is particularly important for service-based businesses – the only way to differentiate is by the quality and credibility of the people delivering the service, PR is positioned to do exactly that.
I’m happy I found my way into the wonderful (and slightly hectic) world of PR where every day is different and I don’t think I will ever stop learning. Here’s to the next three months.