“Oh, that’s interesting,” says the DB, losing interest. “I’ve never met anyone who works in a hotel before.”
Ba-dum. Cymbal crash.
I think what this joke suggests is that most people outside the industry, (and some people in it), don’t know what PR is for.
The notion that the PR is this honest broker between hacks and organisations stands up to only light scrutiny. It applies in areas where there isn’t any controversy, where the outcomes don’t really matter.
Otherwise, well it’s a grey area, with most outside observers assuming that the purpose of PR is nefarious.
Mostly it isn’t that either, but if that’s the perception, the question that arises is, what sort of person is drawn to a career in PR in the first place?
Moreover, if the perception is that PR is just lobbying for big companies, how is the industry going to attract the millennials that, we keep being assured, care about purpose rather than money?
They want to do the right thing for the planet far more than they want a big bonus. So we’re told.
Goldman Sachs has already, reportedly, had a problem luring young bright people because they don’t want to work for a company once dubbed a great vampire squid.
If PR has got a PR problem, how is it going to persuade brilliant people that what it does is about so much more than lobbying?