While driving my sister and mom to visit family, my mom rambles on:

Mom: “So, I talked to so and so…”

Me: “Oh yeah, what did you say?”

Mom: “I told her your sister is a lawyer and you’re in public relations, but I have no idea what you do…”

We have had this conversation again and again. I have had it with my mom, my sister, and my dad for years. Yet, somehow, they still seem to be baffled about what I do. And, if that’s not challenging enough, you should hear my grandmothers’ reactions.

Do you work in integrated marketing? Tired of the deer-in-headlights reaction? Follow this simple script to explaining search engine optimization, social media, and/or public relations to your mom, your grandmother, your sister or a date.

Search Engine Marketing

Me: “Imagine you’re looking to purchase a watch. My job is to try to make it so when you type ‘watch’ into Google, my client appears on page one.”


Social Media
Me: “So, you know Facebook? I write content and manage those communities for my clients.”

Grandma: “There’s pictures of cousin Pete’s babies on there…”



Public Relations

No, my life is nothing like Samantha Jones’.

Me: “Imagine my client makes iPhone cases. My job is to know everyone in the United States who loves iPhone cases and writing about them. Then, I establish a relationship with these folks and explain to them why my client’s iPhone case is the best in an effort to secure coverage.”


Me: “Nope, I don’t pay for placement and I don’t correlate what I do directly with sales.”



If you’re in the industry, what is integrated marketing and how do you explain it to others outside of the industry? If you’re outside of the industry, how do you explain your work to others? Please share below!

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