When I started with Regan as an account coordinator in June, I thought I had a good understanding of what I would be doing each day. As public relations professionals, we spend a lot of our time drafting press releases, creating social media content, and pitching reporters on behalf of our clients. However, I’ve learned that there are certain occasions when our job description can change, and we fill some untraditional roles all in the name of PR. Below are some of the most memorable career switches I’ve experienced in my first few months with Regan.
Though I feel qualified to take blurry iPhone photos and post them to Instagram, using a fancy camera to capture images of press conferences, grand openings, and special client events is another matter entirely. When members of the media can’t attend an event, photography falls to us. Focus, lighting, and staging of the photos are all important components that make a newspaper more likely to run an article or engage followers on social media. Thankfully, with a bit of practice, snapping candids and framing a shot became easier.
Working with Feld Entertainment, we get to plan events for Disney on Ice and Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, inviting local children and their families to celebrate the shows. It means that we get to use colorful decorations, serve yummy, kid-friendly food, and play fun games. It also means that we are now responsible for keeping dozens of children occupied and happy. I’ve played massive games of musical chairs, read stories aloud, danced to Disney tunes, and once, a creative “fairy princess” turned me into a toad. Having the freedom to act like a kid again is one of the best parts of the job.
Another perk of the job? Playing fetch while on the clock. Sometimes, clients ask me to babysit their beloved pooches while they host an event or give an interview. It gives the client peace of mind, and lets them know that we are here to meet their needs, no matter how big or small.
Style and Home Editor
Working in public relations puts my style IQ to the test more frequently than I could have imagined. When a client is going to appear on live television or have their photo taken, it’s our job to step up to the plate and figure out which accessories, hair styles, and color palettes will help them put their best foot forward. Little decisions, from which blazer to which set of earrings, can be incredibly agonizing, but all of the attention to detail pays off when the client looks polished and at ease on camera.
While staffing events or photo shoots for clients, I’ve also put my knowledge of HGTV to good use arranging chairs, hanging streamers, and assembling backdrops. Visiting three different stores for a certain shade of gold tablecloth is worth it when the client is excited by the space and everything looks perfect.
I assumed that by working in public relations, I would be working behind the scenes. I was mistaken. Whether it’s a shot of me lurking in the background in a newspaper clip, or posing for social media pictures, it’s impossible to hide from the camera lens. Most recently, my coworkers and I made our television debut while raffling away Patriots tickets for Dunkin’ Donuts. View the whole clip here. I’m the one awkwardly holding tickets up to the camera.
Though I’m definitely more comfortable watching others on screen, my media forays are valuable experience. When coaching a client about media presence, it pays to know exactly what they are facing, and understand their concerns about standing in front of a camera.
I’ve learned that there is no typical day in PR, or a set of specific duties. Depending on the news cycle and what’s happening with our clients, each day can present new challenges and new experiences. And that’s what I’ve come to love about it most. I’m excited to see where the next few months with Regan take me!