As I sat in my messy, MESSY, apartment this morning, I got to thinking about PR, and how good at PR some people can actually be.
Me, I am still learning the craft, and as of right now I am not a very good "spinner". Although, I hope by the end of CreComm I will have amassed enough understanding about the craft of PR to be able to spin my way into, and out of ANYTHING...
I look at other people, the ones who are PR masters, and they can make anything sound fantastic, or make any conversation or interview go in the direction that they want it to without making it seem like they are...I am fairly certain that these people are magic.
Here is an example of what I was talking about...
Me: "Tell me about yourself"
Exceptional PR Person: "Well, I have been doing whatever it is that I do for a really long time, blah, blah, blah...However now I am going to flawlessly change the topic to whatever *I* actually want to talk about, and you aren't going to notice, because I am relating it back to me somehow..."
Me: "Wow! So you did all that, tell me more!?!" (notice now that the topic of the interview is now about what the PR person wanted to actually talk about, and *I* am the who changed it...CLEVER!!)
Exceptional PR Person: "Yes, well this (insert PR person's topic here) is very important to me, blah,blah,blah...You can actually learn more about it if you go to our website, blah, blah, blah...And they key thing that I really want to emphasize is blah, blah, blah..."
Me: "So what your telling me is that the thing that you have just talked about for twenty minutes that I am not actually looking for at all, is really important to you!?"
Exceptional PR Person: "Yes. Yes it is."
Me: "Fantastic! Now lets talk about..."
Exceptional PR Person: "Oh you mean, lets continue to talk about what I want to talk about?! Okay!"
Later on in the evening, as I am writing my story...
Me: "Hmmm...After talking to that person for a long time, and feeling rather inspired about them and the story I was going to write about them, I now realize that I have pretty much nothing to go on...I do however have a TON of information on the topic that is important to him/her...I guess I'll have to change my angle to that." *sigh*
I am not sure if this kind of skill can be learned, or if it is just some kind of magical PR gift that some people are born with. However, that being said, the little scenario that I posted made me (the aspiring journalist) look quite passive...Obviously if I want to be a journalist (which I do), I am going to have to learn to be comfortable with asking tough questions that even the most magical of PR people will have a tough time not answering with some level of...Uh...'Non PR-ness',
Hmm...Perhaps one of the best ways to become a better journalist is to learn as much as you can about PR. (*light bulb moment here folks*!)
I still have a lot to learn in my next couple of years in CreComm...
Let's all learn about the Daddy of PR himself; Edward Bernays! Thank you sir, for showing us how to manipulate the masses!