Busting PR misconceptions

By: Josie Bobeck

 

Josie's Blog Pic 1

Source: flickr.com

For as long as I’ve been in the public relations program here at Eastern, I’ve had a lot of people make comments and ask questions about my choice in major and what career path I want to travel down. The more the questions are asked, the easier they are to answer—though they do get old quick, and I’m sure anyone going into the field can agree!

At the same time, the more I learn about the field, the more I fall in love with it and the questioning no longer matters. Knowing that PR was what I wanted to do going into college and actually sticking with it solidifies in my mind that this is what I was meant to do. Despite this, the questions still remain. Here are a few.

“So you’re a people person, right?”

I guess you could say that, and more often than not I would agree with you, but that isn’t why I wanted to major in PR. Knowing what I liked and what I was good at, PR just seemed to make sense.

“Isn’t PR the same as marketing?”

Not really. In fact, they are totally different. According to the Public Relations Society of America, the definition of PR is “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public.” It’s about keeping a favorable image for an organization or company.

“PR is easy!”

Making assumptions is easy to do as well. Studies show that PR professionals have one of the most stressful jobs, along with military personnel, air traffic controllers, pilots, firefighters and police officers.

“You must not have known what you wanted to do.”

That assumption is definitely false. PR was never a fallback option I had tucked away in my back pocket. I knew what I was getting into when I declared my major, and I will say without hesitancy that the field is absolutely not for the faint-hearted. As I mentioned earlier, PR is stressful, but when you get to do what you love, it’s an OK kind of stress.

“Will you be able to find a job?”

Of course! There is PR in anything and everything. Because of all of the opportunities presented through the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), internships are not few and far between. From the agency life to working for a corporation or a nonprofit organization, there will always be jobs in the field.

“It’s so broad!”

You’re right, it is. That is one of the cool things about it. There are so many components to the field that you have options, but that doesn’t mean PR students don’t know what they want to specialize in. Whether it’s media relations, crisis management, government relations or special events, there is a niche for everyone in the field.

If you aren’t sure if PR is right for you, you can always head to the EMU PRSSA website to learn more about the program here at Eastern and read from PR students about their experiences. Information about joining PRSSA can also be found there.

Josie Bobeck is a junior majoring in public relations with a double minor in electronic media and film studies, and marketing, and serves as VP of Member Relations in PRSSA. She hopes to one day work in the entertainment/pop culture industry. Josie loves her dogs, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and has freckles on her arm shaped like the little dipper. You can connect with her on Twitter at @JosieBobeckPR.

 

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