“What do you do for a living?” It always sounds like a simple enough question to answer, particularly if you are a doctor, lawyer, teacher or firefighter. When your job is to get brands and consumers to engage with each other, describing your career in one word is not so easy.
What’s in a Definition
In college, I had one foot planted in the college of arts and science with a strategic communications major, and one foot planted in the business school with a marketing minor. I have worked in internal communications at a subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company, and at agencies primarily focused on public relations, media buying and planning and now, brand building.
Based on industry definitions, at various points in my career I and the many professionals like me have worked in public relations, marketing, word of mouth marketing and advertising – just to name a few common fields. While these definitions attempt to create black and white clarity for each discipline, they miss the gray nuances of how people practice these disciplines.
A Professional by Any Other Name
With public relations and marketing continuing to merge and the C-suite taking notice, it is time to change the vocabulary used to label communications professionals. Beyond the boundaries of one industry definition, we should describe ourselves based on our:
- Creativity to come up with ideas that excite both brands and consumers
- Strategic thinking that solves business problems
- Ability to change how people perceive brands and how brands perceive themselves
Not one of these skills exists exclusively in one discipline, job description, department or type of organization. In the end, people are inspired by smart thinkers and great ideas – regardless of their origin. (This approach is a key reason why we have integrated teams at Powerhouse Factories.)
So the next time someone asks what you do, proudly state you are a hybrid. A communications chameleon. I bet you will get them talking, which is exactly the point.