The Scariest Question in Business

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?”

Credit: so many great "Office Space" memes, so little time.
Credit: so many great “Office Space” memes, so little time.

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?

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