In a cool take on “Bring Your Child to Work Day,” Manhattan-based Hunter PR celebrated its 25th anniversary with “Bring Your Parents to Work Day” this week. Being a parent of a Hunter child, I qualified to attend.
Before the event I was emailed a questionnaire to find out how much I knew about public relations. A couple of weeks later I found myself on Madison Avenue meeting my daughter Deanna in the lobby and heading into an event which drew nearly 200 people.
Hunter PR was founded in 1989 by Barbara Hunter, who, we were informed by Managing Partner Grace Leong, was the first woman in the United States to run a public relations agency back in the Mad Men-era. Today, Hunter is a $20 million company with a wide variety of clients including legacy names like Scotch Tape, Jello, Kool-Aid, Monopoly, Arm & Hammer, Tabasco, and more. The parents were invited there, I was told, to gain a better understanding of what their offspring did at work, especially given the general lack of understanding about what PR people do. And the partners and the staff did exactly that through a series of workshops, office tours and networking.
One of the firm’s partners confided that when he heard Deanna’s dad was a PR professor at Hofstra, he wondered what they could teach a teacher. I told him we can all learn from each other, and I was being sincere. Teachers are sometimes accused of losing touch with the “real world,” often focusing on theory and not the practical aspects of the subject. While I haven’t been at the front of the classroom long enough to have lost touch with what PR people do, I was thrilled to have this fun and unique opportunity to see the inside of a major PR agency run by seasoned and young professionals full of energy and ideas. It truly was a learning experience for me, not to mention how proud I am of Deanna, my own rising PR star. Your thoughts?