PUBLIC RELATIONS is, without beating about the bush, all about the Public, whether they be internal or external, they all count as The Public. Getting in touch with them and finding out what their needs, wants and desires are, are crucial to the job.
One of the most rewarding parts of my business day is finding out what consumers want, and what is bothering them. For the last seven years, I’ve written a Consumer Column on the KZN North Coast for two different publications, the North Coast Courier and Life and Style, in my estimation, both equally well apportioned, popular reads, but with a slightly different readership.
The columns have been a great way to nip problems in the bud before they become major issues. People contact me with complaints about a variety of issues and if it means contacting the company concerned to get their feedback, I happily do this. Nine times out of ten, the issue is resolved, and without mentioning names, I can write about the problem and how both parties came to an understanding and were happy with the outcome. I’m happy to act as a go between and it works.
We live in a country that is rife with fraud and crime, but because we love it here, we have to be tough and aware of what is going on, to save us packing our bags and moving out. Personal safety is another popular topic I have found a lot to write about. In fact safety generally. I’ve had fantastic feedback from people who had no idea that there were apps that one could download in case of an emergency, for instance. And who knew that there are people from the bank fraud divisions who happily travel around the country advising consumers how to keep their hard earned cash safe?
Finally, and for me the most fun part of the column is the advice section, and this can be advice on anything (always from the experts of course) from health to downsizing one’s home, to conceptualizing ones wardrobe to the benefits of bicarb and vinegar as cleaning agents. Always great feedback – and a lot more tips and advice from the experts has come pouring in. I love it!!