With the lines of marketing ever blurring, it is getting more and more difficult to apply a label that fully captures the extent of our work here at Braithwaite Communications (though “public relations” comes to mind).
So you can imagine the challenge of explaining this to a classroom of 6th Grade students at Young Scholars Charter School in North Philadelphia. Such was the task of two of us who presented at the Young Scholars Career Day yesterday.
Now the 6th Graders at Young Scholars are exceptionally bright, but describing our career in a digestible manner is no small feat. So here’s how we did it:
- Started our discussion with four well-known brands that do very little, if any, advertising: Beanie Babies, Bath & Body Works, Starbucks, and YouTube. (Marketing being the “something else” these companies do).
- Related their PR work to the work we’ve done for Young Scholars. See: Weather Wednesdays and The Culture of ‘Stomp’.
- Conducted an in-class student brainstorm on new ways to improve Young Scholars Charter School’s visibility.
You’re probably wondering how we did.
To conclude the presentation we handed out the “Agency Aptitude Test” we have all prospective employees complete. And having seen hundreds of responses from “professionals” throughout the years, these kids may just capture the essence of our profession better than we do.
Check out a few of the students’ responses:
In 10 words or less, what is Marketing?
- “Fun way to express a product.”
- “Helping people get in the papers and helping schools, too.”
- “[Marketers] come up with ideas and sometimes advertise them or brainstorm.”
- “Marketing is not just worrying about work but fun too.”
Describe the difference between Advertising and Public Relations
- “PR helps little businesses. Advertisements make big companies bigger.”
- “PR is something that can help your reputation.”
- “PR is when you get things in the newspaper.”
- “[PR] is like making sure that people think your company is good.”
Now, I can’t predict whether or not these students will now be saying, “When I grow up I want to be in Marketing and Public Relations!”
But I do think we may have opened their minds to a new career possibility – one that thrives on creativity, forward thinking, and risk-taking. What’s more, they’ve in turn given us a simpler, clearer understanding of our own profession.