Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 413: Let's PRetend

Even though I was once a very highly paid PR professional, I always felt a tiny bit conflicted.

Some PR is great, but some is just flackery. Let's face it, if it's your job to talk about the importance of sugary snack foods, you're not really adding much to society. No one believes that a candy bar is important. (NOTE: My agency never had a candy bar account.)

Truly great PR has some major components: one, it's going to be promoting something that is meaningful and relevant, something that helps society. Within the PR business are categories; most of what is commonly considered "PR" is actually called "consumer PR" because it is about a product that is consumed.

Now, I still know some practitioners and real experts, so I might be oversimplifying this. Please correct me as needed.

Other elements within PR deal with issues and damage control. Lobbyists in some ways could be considered PR practitioners.

But this is not a treatise on PR, per se. What I'm interested in is reality, not someone's construct of it.

This topic is important to me because in life I have found, over and over, that there are people who are your real friends, and people who are your PR (as in PRetend?) friends.

The skilled PR professional can be so polished and slick that you really think you need that expensive automobile, jewelry or luxury product.

The PRetend friend makes you think you're part of the "gang" or that your thoughts and concerns are really very important to them.

Be not fooled.

You do not need that pricey coupe or that imported bauble.

And you do not need the phony PRetend friend. You do not need to promote the PRetend friend's work efforts ever again, even though the PRetend friend never promotes yours. You do not need to laugh at their inane jokes, even though they are grudging with acknowledgement of your accomplishments. See, the PRetend friend actually only wants to assemble an audience... because without it, they are left to see only their own smallness.

The PRetend friend does not make real attempts to engage in your life... they stiff you on get-togethers because they don't really want to be bothered with upholding their end of the friendship. It's all just talk. The PRetend friend blathers on and on about their lives and their sordid secrets that you are sworn to protect, but never ask about YOUR problems and fears and concerns, because, really, that's not about THEM so why should they care?

The PRetend friend pledges to be there when the chips are down, until they actually ARE down, and then, too bad so sad.

So, so sad.

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