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Public Relations Defined

September 9, 2017

Hey everybody & welcome back to the blog! Today, I’m going to elaborate on a subject that is very near and dear to my heart…..

In case you didn’t know, I am a Public Relations major at Azusa Pacific University and hope to pursue a career as a blogger/YouTuber, a social media coordinator for Be Social PR firm, and/or the director of media relations for a non-profit. As a part of my Intro to PR class, I will spend the fall semester blogging about topics relating to the PR industry and hope you choose to learn alongside me!

To break the ice, let me just say that three years ago I had NO idea what public relations was:

GIF Credit: funnyordie.com

After visiting APU’s Comm Department last spring, I switched majors from Journalism to PR. Even though I knew it was where I belonged, I struggled to clearly define my area of study. Recently, my class was assigned to examine this article about what PR is not (definitely a must read!) However, I still want to take the time to define public relations in my own words; not only for myself moving forward but for my readers to better understand the career I’m pursuing.

“Public relations is the management between a brand, individual, or business, and the media/target audience. Publicists strategize to create mutually beneficial relationships and generate positive buzz about their clients. PR requires creativity, organization, communication, and critical thinking skills.” -Paige Kauffman, Beauty in the Raw

Already this semester, I have learned just how complex PR is:

It is NOT writing press releases and forming relationships with news outlets.

It is NOT creating pretty Instagram posts with creative captions.

It is NOT analyzing trends and strategizing campaigns for future success.

Rather, it is a combination of all of these things and so much more. One must be organized yet flexible; creative yet structured. Every day is different in the life of a publicist, and anything goes (so long as the ethics remain morally sound). If you’re a visual learner like myself, this is a great illustrative YouTube video I found extremely helpful for breaking down PR into the basics:

Another one of our assignments was to read the first 10 pages of Public Relations: The Basics by Ron Smith (you can purchase on Amazon for $23 here). My favorite point that he made was on page four, as he categorizes public relations in three areas:

HUMANITIES    |    ARTS    |    SCIENCE

All of these elements compose public relations and determine a good publicist. One must be good with people, creative, and able to analyze data. Smith also goes on to list several misconceptions of the industry that are similar to those described in the Adweek article mentioned above. His examples have taught me how to combat the negative stigma surrounding PR and defend my profession to my peers.

I’m looking forward to discovering my niche in the public relations industry and studying the different elements of the job. Learning how to be a witness for Jesus Christ within the mainstream industry is also a sticky subject that I can’t wait to dive into.

Keep your eyes open for my post about PR next week & for more posts in between! Have a lovely week, sweet friends.

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