What makes a great PR person?
Some might agree with Edward Bernays who, in Crystallizing Public Opinion, surmised that the primary purpose of public relations is to disrupt the tension between publics and the press through careful direction and placement of propaganda.
With the rise of the internet and social media, it is no longer enough just to release statements into the void and hope they make waves. Disruption and information without a strategic plan are guaranteed to cause more chaos than they solve. A great PR person knows this.
We see that the upcoming generations don’t trust brands, or businesses, or government; yet these are our clients. PR professionals can no longer rest on connections alone: a great PR person finds ways to connect to publics where they are at, whether that is inside or outside the system. A great PR is person is both artist and a poet, leader and follower, scientist and humanitarian.
This above premise is one which I utilize each time I engage with a client. The goal is not just to disrupt, but to transcend. I firmly believe David Ogilvy’s quote applies as much to us flacks as it does to ad men:
“A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.”
Likewise, a great PR person knows how to meet the reality of their audience, respect that reality and deliver results that seamlessly incorporate publicity into the fabric of everyday life. Great PR is art. Great PR is poetry.
Darby DeJarnette is a communications, public relations and marketing professional with a demonstrated history of exceptional work in the performing arts industry, non-profits and private business. Darby is skilled in communications strategy, business development and management. She is currently Public Relations Manager for the Helen Hayes Award-winning Monumental Theatre Company and a Staff Writer for DC Metro Theater Arts. Darby is also pursuing an MA in Strategic Communication at American University. In her spare time, she enjoys keeping up with current PR and advertising trends, playing video games and writing poetry.