For me the scariest, most dreaded question at any business networking event is “So what do you do?”
What do I do? I LIVE.
My not-an-elevator-pitch answer – because 1) I do more than work; and 2) I’m a human who prefers to socialize like one – is: “I work. I sleep and eat. Drink wine and go to the gym and watch TV. Travel and when I’m not, I’m thinking about traveling. You?”
The surprise of that works for a sec, until it shifts to work and careers as those asking try to suss out if I’m buying or hiring. (No.) Then I have to define public relations and integration .. and it all goes down hill.
Why I dread the question (a wee rant):
It stings to meet business professionals who labor under the delusion that as a PR pro, I merely type, talk. That as a designer, there’s no skill involved in selecting the right photo. Someone hears ‘social media’ and thinks ‘plays on Facebook’ or figures that organizing a meeting is like throwing a party (looking at you, Hollywood).
That ‘quick tweak’ to a logo isn’t nothing. The 300 word web content isn’t just an article. A conference isn’t simply booking a hotel and getting a group rate. This is the work that talented, trained, experienced professionals do.
What I Do.
Quite a lot. I wear more than three hats, part of seeing the small details and the big picture, and the other cliches business geeks like to toss about. Synergy FTW!!
- I think, plan, organize, integrate and manage. Projects, all kinds.
- I write very well. (I don’t charge for writing per se, hat tip to the talented Daria Steigman.)
- I design, create – with style and color and understanding of what a ‘brand’ is, how things work together.
The end goal of a meeting is often to teach a concept or idea. Companies use flyers or brochures to share messages to spark an action like a call or click. For a branding project, the goals can be to raise awareness, build reputation, recruit talent, or motivate employees.
Which all starts with Communications. For the right client, right project, right job (spoiler: I’m looking) – that is what I do.
Besides sitting at a desk reading blogs like this one, what do you do?