The Not-So-Breezy Field of Public Relations

Public Relations is a learning process. I feel that no matter how long you’ve been in the field, there’s always more knowledge that can be acquired. While you can be a pro at it, you never really master everything. This is due to the fact that this field is always changing. We have to deal with new technology coming out all the time. Track that new technology and predicting if it will be of use to us in the near future.

People always assume that Public Relations is a breeze, a major for people who don’t want to work. While it isn’t neuroscience, I would definitely never call PR a breeze. It’s a lot of work. PR involves research, analyzing that research, and trying to figure out how a brand can improve. Not to mention putting yourself out there and owning up to mistakes. Also, there is a certain creativity level involved if you even want to have the slightest chance of success in this field. Creativity is not easy, as stated in my first blog post (I was spot on) and for some unfortunately, it just comes naturally.

Regarding my personal experience with PR, I’ve found that it’s less about being perfect but rather embracing the mistakes and imperfections. I’ve had to say to myself on numerous occasions: “yep, I know I messed up, but I’ll be better next time”. And then actually be better next time. While it is a learning process, PR also provides companies with the skills and ideas to make them better, so it’s crucial you don’t make the same mistake twice.

This course has provided me with a toolbox, a baby tool box, but a toolbox nonetheless. I know there is so much more to learn. I feel that I am now a half step more confident in research skills than I was at the beginning of the class. Now you might be thinking that a half step doesn’t sound like a lot, but trust me a half step is huge in this class. I’ve learned that research takes time, energy, money, resources, cooperation and that PR personnel have to know it all. I’ve only scratched the surface (and I hate cliches) but this is finest way to put it. I plan to utilize the discipline and hard work I’ve acquired from this course and apply it to future career paths and internships. 

Let us delve right into the dislikes section of Public Relations. Many of my dislikes are in regards to the unknown. Having to deal with vast amounts of research and then putting that research into language that’s understandable. Almost like translating to another language. But this language has an infinite number of dialects. My dislikes are temporary, meaning they are subject to change once I become more proficient in the field. I know that when I become familiar with how to deal with research, another dislike will come up. But this is common with most fields as more skills are obtained. Another dislike I have is that every task so long, it’s a slow process. This might be due to the fact that I’m a millennial and according to most scientific “research” my brain is wired to demand instant gratification. But in all honestly, you might not see a payoff till months down the road.

But with anything you’re passionate about, the likes far outweigh the dislikes. I love that individuals in Public Relations have done their research (literally), they know what’s going on. I distinctly remember sitting in my political science class trying to have an honest discussion about the pitfalls of greed and egocentricity and how they relate to international relations. I remember the individual had clearly not done their research. But in PR, If you don’t know whats going on it’ll show and if you have no read up on the topic, whatever it may be, people will know. And you will fall subject to a very embarrassing schoolin’ session by your team members. I also like how you can do so much with a PR degree. When you graduate, you’re flexible in many different disciplines. This is especially pertinent to me because I have an infinite number of interests. 

I’ve noticed a trend regarding established professionals in the Public Relations field, that being they done their homework. They understand the ins and outs, they can have an honest discussion about why a certain strategy won’t work. I admire this professionalism. Maybe it’s luck and maybe it’s fate, but one thing I love about PR is making connections. Meeting new people and seeing where that relationship goes is my thing. And lucky for me without networking you probably won’t get very far. And while PR pros might have the best social media accounts out of all their friends, they know that face-to-face contact and a simple cup of coffee is never outdated.

 

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