Thursday, 5 May 2011

Imagine a world without tech PRs

A recent survey by Careers Cast suggested that the life of a PR was second only to being a pilot in terms of stress.  “It’s not rocket science!” blasted journos all over twitter. Very true, but PR can be a trite fraught on occasion. To illustrate my point lets imagine a world where there were no PRs, because everyone in The World of Tech was just so good at connecting and communicating...

Since no one needed the PR,
she gave the office a revamp
Once upon a time, there was an incredibly enthusiastic and irrepressible young journalist, to him the glass was always half full, not that he was much of a drinker, mind! One day he had to catch a bus into the village to buy more type writer ribbon. He planned to use this time on the bus to fact and spell check his work before submitting it to his editor. “You are such a perfectionist!” The wise, old gentleman would kindly chide him, whenever he handed in his copy just a little late.


In the next village there lived the most charming and charismatic inventor you could ever hope to meet. He also had to catch the bus to visit the local ironmonger, who he had commissioned to make some more phalangees, a critical component in his latest invention.

Well, it must have been fate, for on that day, these two jovial people just happened to sit next to each other. Both of them being out-going types, in possession of exceptional social skills, they soon fell into a happy rapport. In no time at all the earnest inventor was telling the curious journalist all about phalangees and their properties in an extraordinarily level of detail. The journalist had all the time in the world to listen to the long list of features that each permutation of phalangees delivered; indeed he was gripped. Having both missed their stops, they were now walking companionably back into the village together and the journalist used his psychic skills to ascertain the unique business benefits that phalangee-based engineering could deliver to his readers.
And so with a great shout of excitement the journalist stopped in the lane and cried, “I believe this to be the singularly most important technological discovery of our time! And even though my beat is actually musical theatre, I’m sure my editor will give me the cover story to tell the world all about it.”

Well, the inventor was somewhat overcome and demurred, “I say old chap that’s terribly decent of you, but do you think you might wait a while before you write anything as I now realise I'm not quite geared up for discovery just yet?”

The journalist nodded solemnly, and true to his word the story was published quite some time later, once the inventor had taken his suit to the cleaners, decided on his company logo and got the phalangee-based product range to stop blowing up. 

Within hours of that one story breaking, everybody was talking about it, and, Ashton Kutcher, Lady Gaga and Stephen Fry were all begging to be among the first to beta test it and the company share price shot up and overnight the inventor became a multi-millionaire. As for the journalist, he was ever after regarded as a technology guru whose wise words would forever be commissioned throughout the land. And they all lived largely ever after…

Yeah, like that happens all the time!

If it did there might be no need for PRs to help companies articulate their offering in a coherent way that delivered compelling copy to the media. But it  very rarely does and and making it so is sometimes a thankless task. But the second most stressful career? 

OK if it wasn't for us PRs the wheels of commerce might have to travel a road more pot holed, but no, it’s not rocket science, nor is it like flying a plane, or being a nurse, a fire fighter, a policeman, a prison warder, a teacher, a carer, or even a journalist...

All jobs have a level of stress associated with them and in PR I think we might secretly like it, it's nice to be needed.

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