Pre-PR Reflections

To me, Public Relations has everything to do with image. Either creating, maintaining or saving the image of a person, product of business. The terms image and brand are interchangeable in this scenario. PR is special to me because I think, no I KNOW that it is essential to any successful image or brand. I think that some that is so crucial to a business’ success should’t go unnoticed.

Before this class even started, I have done a moderate amount of research on the field of Public Relations seeing that it is my major and I have yet to decide whether it is a topic (emphasis on my major) that I want to delve deeper into. From this research, I have read my fair share of literature on it. One of the pieces that stuck out to me was by the Huffington Post titled “Five Common Public Relations Myths..Busted!”. I didn’t agree with this piece whatsoever. The “myths” were as followed: PR equals press releases,  Effective PR can replace the efforts of a sales team, Using PR, my company will become famous overnight, PR is cheap, PR is easy so I’ll just do it myself (2012). Now, maybe I haven’t read enough about the subject or know enough about Public Relations to know the stereotypes, or maybe I think PR is God’s gift to the business world and hold it so holy and sacred and it can do no wrong. Regardless of the reasoning I found these myths to be unheard of. This is what I think and know about PR: PR is a necessary supplement to a business which includes a multitude of tasks that deal with branding and publicity.

Another part of PR that has always intrigued me was how it is portrayed in the media, specifically Samantha Jones from Sex and the City. She is one of the many reasons I love and want to go into PR. I have so much respect for her characters’ resilience, boldness and courage. This though, is coming from a 20 year old who also loves Jersey Shore and believes The Bachelor is completely true love, not a PR professional viewpoint. An actual GVSU Alumna wrote an article for The Grand PR Blog wrote titled “Real PR is not like Samantha Jones” that made me think about the field as a whole from a different perspective. ” If you walked into your first PR class and were a little confused to why we were talking about communications instead of cocktail recipes and creating media kits instead of compiling a list of local celebrity contact information, this is probably why”(Krzesicki, 2015). In this article she distinguishes the difference between PR and “event management” which is more along the lines of what Samantha Jones does. Surprisingly, this didn’t turn me away from the field of Public Relations. After reading that blog, I decided it was time for me to get educated on PR, and not from debunked legends or Carrie Bradshaw’s column.

According to “Public Relations:The Basics” by Ron Smith, “Public Relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics”(2013). Now he had seven other definitions for it but this one resonated the most with me. Probably because of the term “mutual benefit” I like the idea of this scientific concept being applied to a real life situation and clearly working. That is exactly what PR is: a channel in which business and customers receive “mutual benefits”.

This is all I know about PR in a nutshell, what it isn’t, how its portrayed and what it is deemed by the experts. Through this class, I hope to find my own way of understanding what PR means to me personally and utilize it to its maximum potential. I am eager to learn and ready to work.

References

J. Nagy. (2012, September 26).Five Common Public Relations Myths..Busted!. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-nagy/public-relations-myths_b_1900693.html

L.Krzesicki. (2015, March 16). Real PR is not like Samantha Jones (blog).Retrieved from http://www.grand-pr.org/blog//real-pr-is-not-like-samantha-jones-pr

Smith, Ron (2013). Public Relations: The Basics. Retrieved from http://www.eblib.com

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