After years of being a reporter and trying to stand for all it means, I had a short taste of the other side yesterday.
Of course, I’ve been seeing some aspects of PR for a while… but being in the line of fire… that just makes you respect the PR people at another level completely (least the ones who do their jobs). And as I often say, you just can’t be paid enough to do this job.
It is simpler being a reporter sometimes… you’ve to get your story, write it up and go home. Of course, there are those horrible deadlines, cranky and overbearing editors, people who do not give you the information on time or worse, go missing and all that. You’ve to be cautious about stepping on toes…
But being a PR means you get hit on both ends. You cannot afford to piss off the client. And you cannot afford to piss of the reporter and you need to keep them happy as well. Because the reporter is all encompassing when it comes to you… you annoy them once, they’ll block you several times.
True, the reverse works too… but somehow, it feels like the PR needs the reporter more (unless you are working in the business world).
So here you are juggling several things, trying to keep the reporter happy and occupied despite the several delays, frantically making calls to organize the rest of the things and being polite, firm and not nasty but trying to get the work done… and doing all this while looking like you are just chilling out on a nice evening.
It sorted of reminded me of my waitressing days… pretty much the same things applied. You’d to make sure all the tables were served and served the right things, take the orders of whatever they wanted, make sure the kitchen was working smoothly to get what the customers wanted and do all of it looking like you were having a ball.
It was quite a fun evening and I’m definitely glad I got to do it. But the PR people in India – paid no where close to what they should be!