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The Strategy Room

Meet Sonia: How Two Industries Converge Under The Business Of People

By: Sonia Abdulbaki

Feature Post 760 x 450 px (9)

In the past six months I often asked, “How would you like your steak cooked?” Seldom would I hear guests choose to cook their steak rare. It also may seem like a rare occurrence to equate being a server to being a public relations professional; however, I’m going to cook up some comparable ingredients and converge the two industries, much like a superhero crossover episode.   

Seasoned in both professions, I’ve come to realize that the service and PR industries are two houses, both alike in core values. They occupy the same overarching business: the business of people. Whether it’s offering a bite or working to write, the two include service, real-time interactions, crises, promotions, branding and a whole lot of socializing. 

AYour Service 

The goal is to deliver, be it serving hors d’oeuvres or securing coverage. The guest or client wants to be granted a program that achieves their objectives. The objectives vary between industries, but the way to reach them are the same. It includes being detail-oriented, attentive and providing a well-rounded experience overall—from high resolution pics, to the perfect cocktail. 

Our Happiness Depends On It 

Whether it’s a monthly retainer fee, a one-off project or a tip, our source of income is a direct result of the guest or client’s satisfaction with the experience we deliver. This also means being present in real time at an event or when taking an order, and remembering that listening is key and patience is in fact a virtue, especially in times of crisis.  

We Socialize For A Living 

There is a social aspect to any job because, at the end of the long workday, we live for each other. The PR and restaurant industries are social in nature, and communication is essential in getting the job done. PR representatives need to talk to clients, journalists and vendors, whereas servers need to talk to guests, bartenders, chefs, managers and hosts. Communication is imperative in generating a great experience. 

We Build The Brand 

We are all-knowing, like Janet, the robot from The Good Place. It is our job to recommend the best dish, drink, media outlet or pitch. Although we are not the center of photo-ops or dinner discussions, we are behind the scenes, making sure everything goes smoothly. We are the experts that materialize the vision and build the brand. So whether it’s promotions or press releases, the brand is in our hands and we position ourselves as the specialists who make things happen.   




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