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PR Mama Guest Star: It’s a Boy!

September 8, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I like this guest posting thing and am officially on the hunt for other mothers working in PR, especially those who work in offices. Is it me, or are we underrepresented in the blogosphere? We don’t even have a proper acronym. There are SAHMs, WAHMs…what’s the label for broads who squeeze into Spanx and schlep to offices every day? WOOHMs (moms who work out-of-home)?  Maybe WIOMs (for moms who work in-offices)?

I prefer WOOHM (rhymes with womb).

So while I’m off scouring the internets for PR-focused WOOHMs to guest post here (’cause they’re my tribe and I learned at BlogHer that I gotta find my tribe) I thought you might enjoy a little gender-bending diversion. That’s right: a guest post from a PR Papa.

As PR guys go, it doesn’t get much better than PR Cog. As many of my social media pals know, “PR Cog” is the pseudonym for a PR practioner here in NYC who chooses to blog anonymously about our industry because, as he’s said, “someone’s got to.” Cog is smart, funny, accomplished (I think…if only I knew where he actually works) and always there to lend a digital helping hand to a colleague in need. And he’s a dad, father to two young “coglings.”  So without further ado, I give you this view from the other side, that of a working PR dad:

Same Conversations, Different Audiences 

I’m relatively new to the world of PR.  Most anyone who follows me knows I basically came into it because I previously worked in my area of PR specialty — the clients feel comfortable talking to me and I did a significant amount of writing in college for an extra-curricular project, so I’ve got most of the necessary tools in my toolbox.

Needless to say, it was trial by fire — learning as I went along.  I still do, in fact.  Some from my colleagues and more recently, the wonderful group of people on Twitter and (specifically) my cohorts at [shameless plug] PRBreakfastClub.com

As my responsibilities grew over time at my agency, I found it increasingly difficult to balance the time at home with the Coglings (an hour or so in the morning and another in the evening before bedtime) and work.Inevitably as soon as I’d arrive home, there was some sort of crisis — a lost briefing book for a client on the west coast, the limo service for the desksides has to cancel because of Fashion Week and I need to track down a Town Car to play driver, or (one of my favorites) Client A sues Client B and both call us for the work.

Recently, based on a tweet  from the exceptional Heather Silverberg  I’ve realized the balance problem isn’t caused by the schedule, but because I’m having the same conversations at work as I am at home.  You doubt it?  Try this conversation on for size:  

Cog [to child]: Cogling, do you want to wear your red shirt or green shirt today?

Cogling: Yes.

And now this:

Cog [to client]:  Did you want to start the meetings at 10 or 11 during your visit?

Client:  Yes.

Same conversation, different audiences.  Same result, too.  Unanswered calls (one across the room, one across the country) seeking an actual answer and a look (or sound in the case of the client) of confusion that the question was an ‘or’ proposition and that both can’t be done simultaneously (ok, I guess Cogling could’ve worn two shirts, but we’re not letting him know that’s an option).

Think this is only a one time problem?  How’s this?

Cogling [playing next to Cog while he reviews some emails]:  Daddy, can I have your little thing? [He was referring to the iPhone, people….the perverted jokes are my territory.]

Cog: Sure [handing over phone after loading one of the games].

Cogling [after Cog moves to the laptop to continue reading emails]: Daddy, can you show me Moon pictures on that?

Cog: Sure [loading up some moon videos on YouTube].  Can I have the phone back?

Cogling: I want them both.

And now….

Cog: Client, great news, the Wall Street Journal loves your story.  They want it as an exclusive.

Client: Great.  What about the Times?

Cog: Well, if we give it to the Journal [with emphasis] as an exclusive, we can’t leak it to the Times.

Client: Why not?  I want them both.

So, for all the other PR Daddies out there, consider all the frustrating calls you’ve had with clients lately.  If they feel oddly familiar, it might just be because you’ve had the conversation with your own very special (and short) live-in client.

PRCOGPR Cog is a PR Pro at a mid-size Manhattan PR agency, and father of two Coglings. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and at two blogs: PR Cog’s Gear Grindings and PRBreakfastclub (of which he is editor).


  1. September 8, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I love it! I don’t have children (but have nieces, nephews and step-grandchildren) so sometimes I don’t “get” the mommy blogs but this one I get! 😉

  2. September 8, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Between WOOHMs (moms who work out-of-home) and WIOMs (moms who work in-offices), I’d have to say WOOHMs sounds more like my lifestyle. And however they are labeled, we certainly need to hear their voice more often (I know I do!)

    Great post PRCog ( Full disclosue, it is well known that I am a fan of this PR Daddy, and second everything Stephanie said) Being a parent certainly influences your work… I’m afraid I have found myself quoting my 3 yr old once or twice around the office. Or worse, trying to explain the parallel.

  3. September 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I just sent my boss an email with two choices. His response: yes.

  4. September 8, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Great Post!! I enjoy reading “the other side”.
    Sounds like my 5 yo, too. She wants the iPhone the laptop and the iPod… sigh..

  5. Tricia
    September 8, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    WOHMs is in pretty wide circulation, meaning work-out-of-the-home moms.

    • ssmirnov
      September 8, 2009 at 2:50 pm

      Well, darn it all, Tricia. I thought I had coined something clever. Thanks for the heads-up. Though my double “o” makes it easier to rhyme WOOHM with “womb.” Just saying.

      • Tricia
        September 8, 2009 at 2:55 pm

        I’m happy to start spreading the new and euphonious WOOHM sound around the web! But, well, I guess the fact that I know this speaks to just how much of the (gulp) mommy wars “debate” I have consumed.

        You’re absolutely right, though: We are underrepresented in the blogosphere! Two working mom writers I love to read are Mom-101 and the Mama Bee. Also, mommytrackd.com.

  6. Doreen (@DoreenO)
    September 13, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Great post – and blog. I must be a mom because I always get around to reading blog posts late. PR Cog – I think you being a good dad makes you better at serving your clients. You seem like you talk nicely to both. I’m a firm believer in good parenting skills translating into good work and life skills 🙂

  7. sashahalima
    September 29, 2009 at 1:44 am

    How did I miss this?!

    Ah hahahaha, this was great Mr. Cog, as always. Though I would imagine your Coglings are much cuter than the clients 🙂

  1. September 10, 2009 at 12:06 am
  2. September 23, 2009 at 12:07 am
  3. September 23, 2009 at 8:52 pm

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