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It is important for PR pros to educate others about what we can do for organizations.
This means explaining how our work benefits bottom-line goals. Part of this is showing and telling people what PR is and isn’t.
Here is a quick checklist of what PR is not:
1. The department whose sole purpose is to write, edit, and hawk press releases.
2. The business function whose only raison d’etre is publicity.
3. A business function that deals with the media and/or bloggers and NOTHING else.
4. A way to get free advertising—pure and simple.
5. Ever guaranteed to generate coverage.
6. Ever 100 percent controllable.
7. A profession filled entirely with unctuous jackasses.
8. Journalism’s peon.
9. A highly scientific discipline.
10. A craft that has figured out—with any sort of consensus—how its true organizational value should be measured.
11. A business function from which many CEOs emerge.
12. A profession whose practitioners have sound knowledge of business fundamentals.
13. The vocation that idiots who could not make it as journalists go into.
14. Always best carried out by former journalists.
15. The only place to house social media.
16. A complex voodoo priesthood that can only be carried out by geniuses with tons of experience.
17. Capable of whitewashing all sins.
18. A profession whose practitioners are all adept at speaking plain English.
19. Necessarily or invariably the adversary of media.
20. A synonym for spin.
A version of this story first ran on PR Daily in April 2011.