Everyone loves a good origin story. We love telling them about our clients, but when’s the last time someone asked you when you fell in love with PR? There might be days when you’re not loving those crisis management situations. But really, you fell in love with PR. I know I did.
PR wasn’t even my major – it wasn’t even an option at my university at the time. However, I only recently discovered that I fell in love with PR in college.
A group of friends and acquaintances of mine wanted to get together to charter the newest chapter of a sorority on our campus. We knew we wanted to go outside the usual Greek system, represent a dynamic group of women for our university – some timid, some outspoken, a few artistic, others with scientific leanings. From dreadlocks to pom poms, we all found common ground in the goal to unify women who felt there wasn’t an organization suited for them. I’m not sure if we were really that groundbreaking, but that’s the image we were conveying to everyone on campus.
It was this grassroots effort to get noticed among the high-budgeted productions we were up against. We didn’t have fancy uniforms or a big booth set-up with a DJ, we just tried to come off friendly and hand out popsicles in 90-degree weather to anyone that stopped by to say hello. We partnered with non-Greek organizations, some sisters were already members of campus clubs and became ambassadors. All we knew is that we needed to get our faces and letters noticed everywhere we could.
Looking back now, I can see the parallels to professional PR work:
1. Do what you can with the budget you’ve got
2. Make connections and partnerships to establish the outlets / audience for who you’re representing
3. Focus on the key differentiators that make what you’re representing stand out
4. Be genuine and stay true to the style / image / brand brief
PR somehow made sense and it all just fit. It was exciting to see the organization grow in the years I was there. Representing the organization was challenging and thrilling; I knew I needed to do more. I didn’t have a big client I represented or work at a firm that made me fall in love with PR – it was just a little sorority on my college campus that led me here.
So….when did you fall in love with PR?