I get asked by young professionals all the time, “What’s better, in-house or agency public relations?” The answer is both. There are pluses and minuses to every situation. And I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to be on both sides of the discussion. I like to focus on the pluses.
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Blogging is so much more than just an important tool in the overall public relations counselor’s arsenal. Rather, it represents that rare opportunity in which we can not only provide counsel, but “live the experience” as well.
It was that intention to live the experience that first drove me to launch my own blog, Repman, two years ago. As is the case with any client I counsel, I was intent on first discovering what the “competition” was doing, what I could uniquely own and, critically, what fresh content I could generate to reinforce my desired positioning and point of view (POV).
The blog’s name, Repman, was a winner in terms of being a double entendre. It served as both an abbreviation for my subject area, reputation management, as well as becoming a “nickname” for me personally. I stayed laser-focused on my blogs. Each and every one dealt with image or reputation. Each and every one provided my POV on the good, the bad and the ugly. And, each and every one reflected my personality: edgy, irreverent, hopeful, and insightful.
Several years ago, an “intergalactic” firm approached me about them wanting to purchase my firm. Their firm was and is a very reputable firm, with offices all over the globe and an impressive client list. So we went through the typical awkward dance firms go through while entertaining an acquisition.
During this process, I casually mentioned that we had wireless Internet service in our conference room if any of them needed to check e-mail while they were visiting. They looked at each other, dumbfounded, then looked back at me and asked, out loud, “How is it that you have wireless in your conference room and we don’t?” That’s when I knew this deal wasn’t going to happen.
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