What I Know About PR Now

Photo courtesy of creativecommons.org.

Photo courtesy of creativecommons.org.

Before I began my major in public relations, my knowledge of the industry stemmed from what I had seen from television shows such as “Sex in the City” and “Scandal”. From these shows, I learned that public relations is a solution-orientated field with fabulous, strong and independent women. These were the women who worked in front and behind the scenes to make sure that the people and companies they were representing were seen in a positive light.

In my first public relations class, I learned that the motivation behind my decision to pursue public relations was flawed. Below are truths behind the myths I believed about a public relations major.

Myth 1:

Public Relations is glamourous like the television shows “Sex in the City” and “Scandal.”

Truth:

Public relations can be glamorous, but as a practitioner you’ll most likely be behind the scenes, rather than in front of the cameras.

Myth 2:

As a practitioner, you are more concerned with gaining publicity and approval ratings than working to build a relationship with the public.

Truth:

Public relations is all about building a relationship with the public. A relationship that is built on trust, mutual respect and transparency.

Myth 3:

Similar to Kerry Washington on “Scandal,” you’ll have to come to decisions quickly and without much evaluation.

Truth:

Evaluation is essential to creating a viable public relations campaign that can be successfully implemented and sustained.

Myth 4:

Public relations practitioners only handle clients on an individual basis.

Truth:  

Public relations practitioners can work with a number of different clients at one time, especially those who work in an agency.

Myth 5:

Public relations is all about holding press conferences and speaking directly to the media when necessary.

Truth:

As a public relations practitioner, part of your role is to speak on behalf of your client by speaking to the media. This includes traditional and non-traditional forms of media.

After four years of study while doing public relations internships, I learned these truths fairly quickly. Through these truths, not only did my understanding of public relations grow, but also my love for it grew as well.

Antonia Carter-Redding is a senior at the State University of New York in Fredonia double majoring in business with a concentration in management and communications with a concentration in public relations. She has worked with the American Red Cross of Western New York and SUNY Fredonia’s Volunteer and Community Services. In her free time, she writes a blog, Black Women’s Significance, that address issues that black women face and why it matters.

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