Monday, July 1, 2013

The world of issues focused PR

One of the most common questions most individuals get asked once of “working age” is: What do you do for a living? My response, “I work for a Rochester-based public relations firm.” Sometimes I get a blank stare because public relations (PR) can relate to so many avenues or be confused with marketing and/or advertising – but that’s for a different blog post.

When someone gets the basic gist of PR, a common follow up question is “well what type of PR do you do?” And this is where I love the conversation to go! My response? “Well, EAFocus is an issues-focused public relations firm. We have clients ranging from medical organizations and physicians to CPAs and attorneys to municipalities and school districts.” I gather in most circumstances people are trying to figure out, what do you do all day? Here’s the answer.
While I can’t sell the secret sauce of EAFocus, I will tell you my job requires me on a daily basis to be current on the latest issues. That means reading the newspaper (yes, the actual paper that can still get ink smudges on your fingers), listening to various talk-radio programs during my commute (who knew the AM stations were broadcasting through the car of a mid-twenty year old!), watching news broadcasts on both the local and national level (I do watch more than Nashville and The Real Housewives) and keeping up on industry trends for all of our clients. From there, it is a matter of understanding what the issues and topics most relevant to each client are and how trends and issues taking place on both a local and national level affect them. Whether there is a local story that has the potential to gain national interest or a national story that has a local tie, EAFocus stays abreast on the hot button issues to make sure our client’s stories relating to these topics are being shared with the right audience at the right time.

Beyond my need for news, working for EAFocus and our wonderful clients provides the opportunity to work on projects tied to fascinating (well, in my book at least!) issues. Since the first of the year we have had the opportunity to be involved with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's (MEDC) Community Ventures program through one of our clients, gained insight into the ways plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are expected to expand and the roles cities will play in the adoption of their infrastructure thanks to the efforts of another EAFocus client and developed a greater understanding of the impact on patent trolls in business and even the public sector, courtesy of another client. And this is just the tip of the iceberg!  

In addition to my news addiction, I have always enjoyed meeting people. EAFocus and our clients have provided numerous opportunities to attend networking and similar type events. From meeting local leaders and the Governor of Michigan to other young professionals and business leaders, let me just say, I love my job and I never lack for being surrounded by interesting people!

Does your organization need to communicate important issues to your clients or constituents? EAFocus can help.

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