What Does it Mean to Work in Public Relations?


What do you think when someone tells you they work in public relations?

“So you just get to party everyday?” “You get to sit around on Facebook at work… and get paid?” “Hand out free stuff to people?” “Lie to get people to like a specific company?”

Being employed in the public relations field can often bring up some confusion or even negativity among individuals. However there are actually numerous functions a PR can be associated with and most companies are not looking to be disrespectful or dishonest. Some functions of public relations include…

-Writing- -Planning- -Counseling- -Researching- -Media Relations- -Investor Relations- -Employee Relations- -Consumer Relations- -Community Relations- -Social Media Interfaces- -Public affairs and issues- -Marketing Communications-

Although a PR professionals may have a different function compared to another person, they all have one goal in mind. An article posted on Shift Communications states…

“In PR, we help build and manage relationships between your public and your brand. Though there are several different strategies and tactics that fall within PR, at the end of the day, everything we do ties back to building and managing relationships with the public.”

Shift Communications is an organization that works with companies who need to incorporate Public Relations into their marketing strategy. The author, Tori Sabourin, has worked at a PR agency for almost six months and explains how difficult it can be to explain to people what she actually does.

Do you have what it takes to be a PR person?

“PR is an intense and difficult job that can be rewarding and disappointing. It can be exciting, and mind-numbingly boring. PR, more often then not, is misunderstood by people outside of the industry. Increasingly, the lines between PR, marketing and advertising are becoming more blurred, taking the industry into a new direction. To be a PR person, there are certain skills that are very beneficial which can be broken into two categories: human skills and professional skills. Human skills include things such as patience and congeniality, while professional skills include the ability to speak publicly and write professionally.”

Not only is public relations hard to understand for many individuals, it also takes special people to love and be good in this field. The quote above was taken from an article on ereleases.com written by Ben Silverman. PR professionals may be doing anything from managing social media accounts, publishing industry news, running contest giveaways, developing television/radio segments, and communicating with audiences. With so many different functions within public relations and the variety of opportunities this field provides, no wonder so many individuals get this industry confused.

Photo Source: http://matthewgain.com/2012/02/what-people-think-i-do-meme-pr-edition/