It just looks easy

I admit that way back when I was chasing cops and crooks on behalf of newspaper reporting, I thought PR types were pesky and had it easy. All they had to do was pick up a phone, make a call or two, and then dash out for a nice long lunch complete with adult beverages. It looked so easy. I was so horribly wrong.

Lately, I've heard my share of others express their surprise at the amount of effort involved in public relations work. There remains a perception that one just drafts a news release and the work is done.

Today's changing news media offer a plethora of options for storytelling, but getting someone to take notice about a business or an individual requires strategic thinking and execution along with strong communication skills. Protecting someone who is being publicly flogged requires strategic thinking and execution along with strong communication skills.

Oh yeah, it also takes thick skin, very thick.

Bloggers, websites and worldwide access for virtually anyone to say anything  means everyone's got a soapbox and most aren't afraid to use it. Doesn't make it right or smart -- it is what it is.

More than ever, it is important that a business (small or large), organization and even average citizens, understand the power of communications and relating to the public.

Getting heard above the loudest cable news white noise can be difficult, so  having someone navigate the waters because they know how to read the map can be lifesaving. Successfully protecting your reputation means having someone in front of you who will stay calm, unemotional and who will think about the entire experience from beginning to final outcome. 

Having a strong PR practitioner in your aresenal is a good idea. And if you're thinking about doing it yourself because you're smart, remember: It just looks easy.