Entering the real world is scary. Something that’s even scarier is when you’re bombarded with weird, office jargon that leaves you feeling incompetent on day #1. We spend four years in college, preparing for the “real world” and learning the ins and outs of our chosen fields, but sometimes (okay, MOST times) that just isn’t enough. And you quickly learn that nothing beats real world experience.
Something I have found either insanely embarrassing or very hysterical are the simple things (buzz words, daily tasks, etc) that I didn’t know about PR before entering my first big kid job at SHIFT. So, in an effort to not feel like a total misfit, I reached out to my colleagues and together we have pulled together a “Top 10 List” of funny, embarrassing and sometimes insightful, things we did NOT know about PR before entering the field.
- I never realized how many people don’t understand what PR is. No I am not in advertising, living the life of Samantha Jones or lying on behalf of clients in order to get coverage. Other than that, PR can be just as badass and as fun as you think it would be. – Mallory Cloutier, Account Manager
- The PR world is small. Everyone knows everyone. – Katie Boucher, Account Executive
- The phrase “off the record” really means nothing. NOTHING is off the record! You can be quoted as a spokesperson for any client, any time. – Ann Marie Gorden, Account Executive
- I didn’t know that I would, in addition to various PR skills, become an administrative wizard. Scheduling calls, rescheduling calls, combing calendars for availability, setting up dial-ins, corralling people into conference rooms, and here and there, fighting the good Go-to-Meeting fight. Also, typing an email while looking at your colleague over your desk is like throwing a dart at the target while wearing a blindfold. If I don’t misspell something, I feel awesome. – Amanda Guisbond, Senior Account Executive
- I didn’t know that I could get so many emails in the span of one bathroom break. – Emily Wienberg, Account Coordinator
- I get to sign up for all the social sites I otherwise would be too embarrassed to admit using. “Me on Pinterest?…ughhh yea, it’s only because I use it for work.” – Scott Baldwin, Account Manager
- Databases. Galore. – Denise Bertrand, Account Coordinator
- I didn’t know just how much jargon the PR industry has. You start off not knowing what’s in a client’s “wheelhouse” or how to “circle the wagons” and vowing never to use these phrases. And then one day you find yourself referencing “bandwidth” and “get your ducks in a row” in a team meeting… – Sarah Bergeron, Account Executive
- I didn’t know I would require skills in psychology. So much of the work involves counseling, giving advice, and being a good listener. – Danielle Mancano, Senior Account Manager
- My family will never understand what I do day to day. “No, Grandpa Albert. I don’t plan and attend parties every day.” – Ciri Haugh, Senior Account Executive