It’s strange to think back on everything I have learned about public relations… mostly because a lot of it applied directly to my life and where I wanted to go into my career. Yes, I learned about the history of PR and while that is important (don’t get me wrong), it just isn’t the main thing I took away. Yes, I will be reflecting on public relations and specifically my knowledge of public relations as it has come to be, but I want to do more than that. I want to reflect on how this knowledge WILL help me immediately exiting this course and in the future. Whether that be PR related or not. Not only has my own outlook on the definitions and specifics about PR changed, but I have formed completely new constructs in my head based on the professional world, networking, efficient writing, and clarity. Some of these new aspects I have learned can have nothing to do with PR or everything to do with it- and that is why this class was worth every minute I spent in it.
In my very first blog, I attempted to understand public relations with some limited research and application. After looking through the blog, I think I accomplished that and can look back at that blog confident in the information I have provided. I focused on providing multiple definitions that hit as may facets of PR as possible. While knowing that PR can happen through different forums and medias, it protects reputation through crisis management, and that SEO is a valuable form of evaluation, I think the exact definitions come from how those things help organizations and the public.
“We believe PR should be practiced to serve the public interest, to develop mutual understanding between organizations and their publics.” – James E. Grunig (para. 3).
The quote above I think represents the basic ideals of public relations. Point blank. That is what a PR pro should strive to do. And I think going back to the core is what needs to happen sometimes.
Throughout the semester, I have been exposed to real-life PR situations and am able to say I’d feel confident in making a campaign for an organization. The most valuable and memorable information has been that which I have planned an executed on my own. I have learned how to begin looking at a situation and establish a problem. From the problem I know how to create a concrete and clear goal. Then, I am able to create objectives, strategies, and tactics for that goal. At the beginning of the semester, I may have known what public relations was, but I definitely did not know how to execute any of it. This campaign project I have been working with, along with the blogs I have been keeping up with, has forced me to a realization that being able to be understood clearly and effectively is CRAZY important, especially when it will come to clients receiving plan books. Plus, that writing may not be the primary need for a PR pro but it sure does help.
I have also had the incredible opportunity to meet multiple PR professionals, whether they were in an internship or their official career. This has gotten me super scared and excited all at once. It really taught me that opportunities come from all over and that networking and being active and social on LinkedIn and in person is key to being successful. I have even seen some of my own opportunities by simply seizing moments and being proactive. That is how the professional world works- and you have to be able to work it. Which I look forward to doing.
Looking back, I ended my first blog by saying “if I know one thing after all of this, I know that PR is a complex, evolving, and incredible industry that is worth diving into”, which is completely 110% true. I really dove in and tried to understand PR and everything it has to offer. I have a feeling though that I’ll always be chasing after PR trying to figure out what the next move to make is.
Grunig, J. (n.d.). “Damn, I wish I’d said that!” – 50 of our favorite PR quotes. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from http://www.contentfac.com/damn-i-wish-id-said-that-50-of-our-favorite-pr-quotes/