Not even my family understand what I do for a job!

My Niece has just turned 16; a young, bright and beautiful girl thinking about what career path she might take as her GCSEs loom on the horizon.

At a family lunch the other day she asked me for the 100th time what I actually ‘do’ for a job. I explained to her again, using some visual examples, but this didn’t hit the spot as she subsequently asked my Dad (her Grandad) the same question the following week.

It got me thinking that perhaps Public Relations (PR) is a bit tricky for people to get their head around, especially for a generation glued to their phones who would never contemplate reading a newspaper or magazine. The ever-changing media landscape in our digital age is an interesting topic, but one that warrants its own space.

So, back to what is PR.

In my experience, most clients are looking to grow their distribution in the UK market in all channels including retail, on-trade and off-trade. PR is a way to support their sales and marketing objectives to generate sales.

How? By raising awareness of products (drinks in my case) through the media to those who work in the trade and to consumers.

The power of PR

A third-party, unpaid, editorial endorsement is the most trusted form of awareness building. Product placement, news stories and features influence opinion and behaviour. PR is not what you say about your brand on Instagram but what others say about you – which makes PR so powerful! My job is to entice journalists to write about my clients’ wine or spirit and they, in turn, convince consumers reading their columns to become customers.

Product placement is a key element of what I ‘do’ but I like to think of myself as more of a storyteller. Not like the bedtime stories I used to read my Niece when she was a little girl, but creating a narrative around a product and brand so it is seen as more than just a drink.

So when you are flicking through a newspaper and come across an article about the best red wines to go with beef, that’s PR. When you are online reading about the new CEO of one of the UK’s top English wine producers, that’s PR. Or when you are contemplating what to serve for lunch on Mother’s Day and you come across an article about the best drinks to ensure your Mum has a great day, that’s PR.

PR is essentially a trusted recommendation from an expert in their field. Much like my Niece’s friend sharing a link to a new wonder moisturiser prompting her to go online and buy it…or ask my sister to buy it for her!

PR Top Tip: Engage a PR consultant or agency with specific experience and expertise in your field as they will have the best media contacts.

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