- Alisha Monique
I’m Not Really an Event Planner
*In my Ron Burgundy voice* PUBLIC RELATIONS . . . IT’S KIND OF A BIG DEAL!
Yet not one client (past, present, or future) defines it the same way. Some don’t know what the hell it is. But they just know they need it, and that ‘it’ usually involves a task they don’t want to do . . . such has event planning and / or fundraising. Sometimes I think the world believes PR professionals are directors of miscellaneous.
The Public Relations Society of America defines public relations as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” This means that public relations (PR) professionals are storytellers. We create narratives to advance an organizations or individuals agenda. This can be accomplished through writing and distributing press releases, speech writing, blog writing, executive communications, crisis communications management, and social media. On occasion PR professionals might coordinate a special event designed for public outreach or media relations. PLEASE NOTE: These special events are not the same as fundraising, event planning. That’s development work. WE DON’T DO THAT HERE!
Upon reflecting on my various PR roles and projects, I’ve completed countless activities outside of the usual PR functions. I’ve served as the makeup artist, production assistant, photographer, personal assistant / handler, therapist and most recently an event planner. Those who know me, know that I hate event planning. I don’t even plan my own birthdays! Although my scope of work didn’t include event planning – somehow, I became the led on planning a large virtual event. While I hated the process of planning and executing the event (no surprise there!), I was satisfied knowing the event served a great purpose to those who attended. It also received great media coverage. Knowing that the event positively impacted hundreds of people made me feel good. You know us millennials like that stuff! But let me be clear – I not really an event planner.