by Lolo Sianipar
Graduated from College with Public Relations (PR) as major and then working for more than 8 years in the PR Industry (as well as Marketing Communications) in Jakarta, it has developed certain skills and capabilities in me, including pointing out a PR person from a crowd. Yeah, I know some of you might say “What??? Only 8 years, you’re still a baby Lo!”, Hey, I’m a quick learner and sensitive you know. Anyway, all I want to say is a PR person or PR Officer (PRO) or PR Consultant or whatever you call people who work continuously in PR Department and do PR Program, they have these distinctive manners that they developed intentionally or unintentionally. Their gestures, their smiles, their performance, the way they talk, even the way they walk, it’s all like a parade of signs to demonstrate their “PR” personality and profession. Sometimes it’s fun to be around PR People because they are easy going, socialize and they’ve a lot of stories, but sometimes, being around “some” PR people can really makes my eyes twitching and my stomach nauseous, y’know, the too-much-of-“I’m PR-ing Me Self”- thingy. It’s like being around someone who wears perfume too much. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a PR too and sometimes I act like that too.
Here, I’ve made a list to detect whether we have “slightly” too much PR in us or not, and why it’s not fun to be around us when we have out-of-control-PR- paroxysm! Please don’t take this personal, blame it on the job! Hahaha.
1. You’re talking and talking and talking. I’ve experienced this once too many before, sometimes being around PR people is like in the talking competition, they barely catch their breath, afraid that someone might slip a sentence in between and steal the rest of the discussion… err… not even close to discussion, more to “speech”. As if Never-Ending-Talking is the way to show how good you are as PR. Sometimes people compliment me: “so, you’re a PR? No wonder you’re so good in saying things and so easy-going” thou they meant it as a sincere compliment, I take it as a warning.
2. You have this capability to be instantly and extremely nice to whomever stating that they are from Media or if they’re wearing a “press” tags on their chest. It’s true that we have to treat the Media People special in our event, but – pleaseee – not too much fakes courtesy. I think a sincere “hello” and “how are you” is enough for one event, if you REALLY know them, you might have a longer chit chat. Otherwise, if you want to be nicer, call them later and ask for private informal meeting to be a “real” colleague. Some of my Media friends admit that these behaviors disgust them sometimes… “Arrgkhh Lo, you should see their fake laughs and compliments on what I wear and stuff, yeikss!” Ouch!
3. You have a strong urgency to make your clients likes your PERSONALITY instead of your PR concepts/ideas. Why? Because you believe: O well, as long as they like ME, they’ll like my ideas. Unfortunately, when they don’t like your idea, since your intention is to make them like YOU, you’re becoming the “Yes Ma’am” PR person. It is not like people know, but YOU KNOW it when you’re in a presentation meeting; you’re nodding and STILL smiling even when they KILL your ideas.
4. After handling a brand or corporate for a few years or decade, you start underestimate the “fresh graduate” or new people in your team. Instead of listen to these young/new people’s idea (which they might come up with an up-date trend that might as well good for your strategy) you say to them “you’re still a baby, what do you know about Brand or PR Strategy? Bla bla bla”. Sure, you’re the source of a great PR concept. Ideas, strategy for that particular Brand…But Hellow! Wake up! Brand is evolving, so shouldn’t you evolve too? I did this mistake once…
5. You’re more worry about sending the wrong Key Messages more than if you have hurt someone’s feeling especially your team. Trust me almost all “old fart” in PR Industry act this way! They are so nice when it’s come to meet the “outsider”: important people, media people or in any events, but a Lunatic Tigress when it comes to internal meeting. Some of them – I know for sure – never hold back harsh words and very rude, need not to mention the tart mimic.
6. You’re so sure that you’re a good party organizer, and you’re dying to have people think like that too… so when it comes to party, you’re idea is the best and you’re looking forward to hear all the credit after the event. Tell you what, the “So You” party, is not always a great party…
7. You buy sooo many books, you barely finish half of them but still… you advertise on how many books you bought, because you’re a professional PR person, you got to know everything!!! And people got to know that!
8. In an event, you’re smiling too much that it hurts your face. Why? Image… Remember? Good Image is important, how one can build a brand or corporate image if one can build one’s image? Need to look happy, need to look smart and happy, need to look busy, smart and happy.
9. Snob. Public Relations = Good Looking and if necessary Branded Looking. Really? And shopping is our favorite subject to discuss. Hm, I have nothing against branded stuff, good looking, full make-up thingy, cuz I love all of them. But when it’s became priority and makes us so hypercritical about other’s appearance, I think we just have a little too much of it. C’mon, what the hell we care if someone wears something not really match? And stop talking about brands! You and I know, we always can get it at the nearest bazaar or flea market, or swipe our credit cards which mean more debt in the bank.
10. You’re soooo proud to be reckoned as a person who knows a lot of people, especially important people. You’re hoping many people will say “hi” to you at public place, at mall, at restaurant, at toilet, at event, etc. in a conversation you always try to slip a word or two: “O, I know the president director of Bla bla Company”, “Oh, I had lunch with the Bla bla Chief Editor”, “Yeah, I know the Deputy of Bla Bla Department”, “I know this Celebrity and that Actor”, O well, you know what I mean. So, you know important people… so? Actually, It’ll be much much better for me if you say, “My Son, he’s 1 years old now, and learning his 1st step” that’s more sound like you’re PR-ing yourself as a proud Mom, better “Image”.
I guess 10 points is more than enough, you want to add more? You’re more than welcome!