Myths & Preconceptions about Public Relations

For those of us in college, here’s the question of the day… and by day, I mean the four or five (maybe six) years of our lives… “So, what’s your major?” Well for me, this is a loaded question. When I respond saying, “I’m a PR major,” this usually leads to either a confused look or an immediate follow up question like, “Oh what do you want to do?,” or “What exactly is PR?” My favorite follow up is, “Oh cool! So you plan parties and make your boss look good?!”

One website I found said, “The main goal of a public relations department is to enhance a company’s reputation. Staff that work in public relations, or as it is commonly known, PR, are skilled publicists.”

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-public-relations.htm

Yes, those of us in Public Relations are very skilled. We have to be everything to everyone and keep a good face on the entire time. eHow.com describes the profession of Public Relations as: “A public relations professional builds awareness and interest, serves as a spokesperson and manages the flow of information to the public for a person, product or company. He is an effective communicator in print, person and on the phone. A successful campaign presents a client in the best possible light.”

http://www.ehow.com/facts_4924808_public-relations-job-description.html

I actually agree with what both of these sites say. There will never be a day on the job when we do one thing, and one thing only. It just doesn’t happen. The myths and preconceptions are true. We don’t sleep and never stop working. We live, eat, and breathe our jobs… Personally, I love it!

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4 thoughts on “Myths & Preconceptions about Public Relations

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more Lindsey. I myself, like you mentioned most of us do, get that same question asked by a lot of people; my dentist, grandparents, friends of the family, extended family members, and even strangers when making small talk. PR is usually something that people do tend to turn their noses up at a little, mainly in regards to just not knowing what it exactly entails or requires but like you said knowing a good definition of what it really is and “dumbing it down” so they know what it means and is able to relate to it is key in getting people to respect/understand our major, PR. Great post!

  2. taylorjones says:

    I completely agree with you Lindsey. Whenever I tell people that I am a PR major, I get the same confused looks. Once I tell them what it actually is, they think it seems so easy. But little do they know, it is a ton of work. I actually never realized how much work went into planning an event until we talked about it in this inroduction to PR class. You gave really good definitions of what PR is to you and now I know what exactly to say when people ask me what a public relations professional does. I also agree with you Kathleen about “dumbing it down” so people can get a better understanding.

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