Have you ever wondered how that celebrity got covered in your favorite publication or why this campaign got more attention over the other? It’s all the doing of a PR (Public Relations) Practitioner. The practice of Public Relations plays an important role in many organizations and brands in today’s “Attention Economy”.
By definition, as established by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.
My education experience consisted of a Bachelor's degree in Communications and a Master's in Public Relations. Depending on your school, you may or may not necessarily need a Master's degree to get into PR. While my undergraduate school provided me with the theory (a.k.a the why behind PR) it was my graduate school experience at Syracuse University that gave me the technical skills necessary to successfully enter the field. Some folks are blessed to go to an undergrad that has adopted both.
Public Relations has been a rewarding career for me, thus far. It's taught me a lot about understanding people, building relationships, and has even pushed me to become more media-savvy.
As a PR professional, I am usually responsible for media relations, media monitoring, strategy & message development, crisis management, internal communications, and reputation management. Depending on the day and needs of the organization/client, my responsibilities may vary.
Most people don’t know that Public Relations is broken down into three spheres:
Agency: Depending on the size, you will serve multiple organizations (clients) depending on the Scope of Work (SOW) that was established between the agency & the client. That will dictate what will be done on behalf of the client for the duration of the relationship. If you love a fast paced environment and love being able to work across multiple industries, then, this is the route for you.
In-house: This allows you to be much more focused than an agency being that you work for one client (your organization). The responsibilities are pretty much the same, with the exception that your team is smaller than the one you might have at an agency.
Independent contractor: Publicist? Run your own agency/firm? In this space, you can dictate what you want to do with your skills.
If you are or aren't considering a career in PR, hopefully, this information provided you with a surface level understanding of what goes on in my field. Consider it!