By: Brianna Edwardson
A common question many PR majors will face is... what is public relations? A loaded question asked by your public relations professors and your family. You’ll eventually ask yourself the question too.
We see public relations on TV and in movies showing PR as a fluffy, female dominated business in the entertainment field. You can thank Scandal, Sex in the City and Mad Men for the biased interpretation of PR practitioners. Obviously, this isn’t the case.
Think of public relations as a Band-Aid for some companies. PR can be crisis management in dire needs such as reputation, public safety and financial hits. For example, PR can help heal and mend a reputation of a business, which suffered a hit of bad press. We can make the “boo-boo” go away with no signs of scarring.
Public relations is networking. As a PR practitioner more than likely you will work with clients needing a product or service promoted. You’ll gain connections with radio stations, newspapers and broadcast networks. Taking each network with you and furthering your career. Building connections with the mass media is the golden ticket to a great PR experience.
Public speaking is PR, and PR is public speaking. Having good communication is what makes a great PR practitioner. We give the speech when a crisis hits. We give the speech to sell our client’s service or product. We give the presentation, and with great public speaking we can deliver the message without being ignored.
PR practitioners are writers. Mentioned previously, we write speeches but don’t take it lightly. Like the saying goes, walk a mile in my shoes but PR practitioners need to walk five miles at best. As PR practitioners we certainly do need to walk a mile in their shoes. We can take on the challenge of being someone’s voice for their company, organization and product. As writers we can take on different personas with different businesses. We are the Jedi-Knights of writing.
In the end, PR is the Swiss Army Knife of the communication, journalism and broadcasting world. We can do it all. We are more than just a fluffed up character on a TV show, looking great in business suits while constantly being on their phones. We’re professionals with an insight on all media outlets.