When I first got into the world of public relations, I had no idea what I was dealing with. I mean absolutely no idea. I’d heard the term public relations and could take a guess on what it was, but I didn’t know any PR field basics. Flash forward to today and I couldn’t be happier with how much I have learned about the world of PR. Through the creation of a public relations campaign book and learning the fundamentals of PR in class, I feel that I now have a firm grasp on the field of public relations.
I’ve learned what it’s like to create a campaign for a real client. Listening to who they are and what they want accomplished makes it a reality that you are in charge of changing this company’s future. And on top of that, I’ve learned what goes into a PR campaign book. Coming into the fundamentals of public relations class, I knew that some kind of research, probably a GANTT chart, and maybe a few other components were involved. Now I know that a campaign book can be made up of secondary research, primary research, a budget, timeline, objectives, strategies, tactics, and much more.
Recap. So, I didn’t know what PR was or what went into a campaign book, and on top of it all, I didn’t know what you could do in public relations. What fields of work are there? What kind of jobs can you have? What do you do during your job? Again, my answers would’ve been guesses. But through class, I’ve learned that PR professionals can work in nonprofit, events, promotions, entertainment, sports, tourism, health, and many more areas. There are great opportunities for PR professionals, and that is one of the many reasons why I chose this field of work.
Another reason why I chose PR is because no day is ever the same. Especially if a crisis comes along. Some of the most interesting pieces of information that I’ve learned are how to handle a crisis and what companies have done wrong during their crises (click here for my take on Chipotle’s crisis). A company should always have a great crisis communication plan ready, and if there isn’t one in place, the public will know. United Airlines anyone?
Lastly, one of the most important pieces of information I’ve had drilled into my mind is that public relations is a process. I’ve heard it repeated over and over again. Research. Action. Communication. Evaluation. Four simple steps, though the problem being solved may not be so simple. They’re the fundamentals of public relations and explain the work that PR professionals do.
This last semester I’ve grown tremendously in the amount of information I’ve learned about public relations. I’ve learned what it’s like to work with clients, write a press release, come up with tactics, conduct a focus group, and many more valuable insights. To become a great PR professional, it starts with learning. And if you don’t know something, research it. The information you acquire now will be invaluable in the future.