Summer is a busy time for everyone. Whether you are working, going to school, or maybe even both, there is a lot going on and a lot to think about. For me, my time this summer has been split between being a PR intern at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and being a Sandwich Artist at everyone’s favorite fast food joint, Subway. This means that I’m either doing one of two things at all times… thinking about public relations or thinking about sandwiches. So, why not both?
At its core, public relations is a strategic communication art form that links an organization and its various publics. The Public Relations Society of America also states that this link is a mutually beneficial. This definition is accepted by virtually everyone in the world of communications, journalism and PR.
Similarly, a sandwich is simply a sandwich. An item of food, a tasty treat, and a form of sustenance to fuel our days. This belief is also accepted by virtually everyone. But, as with PR, there is so much more than that.
Everyone has their own personal touches on their favorite sandwich in the same way that everyone has their own personal touch on their PR work.
Personal branding is a vastly important aspect of the field, and without making yourself seen to clients and colleagues, succeeding in the industry becomes more difficult. In public relations, it is imperative to do something that makes you stand out and be known. When you are venturing in the world of public relations, do not be afraid to make it your own, within reason.
By making wise personal branding choices you are taking the foundation of public relations and making it different, new and unique. Each new idea you bring to the table, step outside the box you take, or personal branding endeavor you find yourself in, you are essentially adding a different topping to your PR sandwich. You are taking something and making it your own, something that you will love, and may also inspire or spark ideas in the eyes of another.
If every sandwich on this Earth was identical to the next we would all be really sick of sandwiches. In life, in food, and in public relations, being your own person gives you an opportunity to not only be true to yourself but to also showcase your own ideas and potentially inspire another PR practitioner.
I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t try a sandwich that one of my customers has ordered. Their favorite sub choices have inspired some pretty delicious subs throughout this summer, and in the same way, I’ve also learned tons of tricks, tips and ideas from the wonderful people I am interning for this summer.
At the end of the day, it’s important to do what you love. Next time you go to Subway, don’t be afraid to put every one of your favorite toppings on your sub. In the same way, don’t be afraid to take PR and add your own spark to it. Public relations is a form of strategic communication and a type of art, and a sandwich is bread with toppings. With both of these things, there is room to add to it, to make it your own, and to inspire others with your choices. Don’t be afraid to put your personal touch on either one.