The Top Ten

19 Apr

Image Credits: Ten by szajmon

 

When I first entered my Public Relations Applications course, the only things I knew (or thought I knew) about PR came from the Lauren Weisenberger book Everyone Worth Knowing, a book by the author of The Devil Wears Prada about a young woman partying it up at her job for Kelly PR group who spends her days going through a who’s who database and her nights being seen and rubbing elbows with high society at New York City’s glamorous night clubs. However, public relations is much deeper than what is portrayed in this book and in shows like Sex and the City. Here is a list of the ten things I learned about OR from the course I took this semester.

1)      Who publics are and to what publics I belong.

It is the job of a PR professional to represent a company or an individual to their publics, so obviously it is pivotal to have an understanding of what publics are. I learned that each of us belong to a public, as we each follow and form an opinion about businesses, individuals, and organizations. I am a public to Southeastern University, and for my cell phone company, for example. You may be a public of a favorite celebrity or clothing line.

2)      How to speak in an interview.

I learned that you should never retire brushing up your speaking skills, especially when it is time for an interview! Body language and eye contact count, too. Handshakes and maintaining eye contact can both be awkward if held too long or too short. It is also important to have an online presence with sites such as LinkedIn. And of course, you must so your homework and come prepared for the interview with knowledge about the company and perhaps some anticipation of the types of questions that might be thrown your way.

3)      PR throughout history.

In this class I learned about the Father of Public Relations, Edward Bernays. Named as one of the most influential people of the 20th century by Life magazine, Bernays is responsible for setting the standard for creative PR campaigns. In the Golden Lights Jubilee for the 50th anniversary of the light bulb, he got the world to shut off its power for one minute.

4)      A PR pro has options.

Public relations is a career choice of great diversity. Once can chose to work at either a department or division of a corporation or an individual firm, which may be large or a smaller boutique firm.

5)      Resumes matter.

This semester, I learned of different ways for improving my resume. Resume is a word borrowed from the French meaning summary, and that is exactly what it should be. I learned that it should not be too extensive and should always be relevant, meaning that I should cut out components dating back to high school (I even had a couple things from jr high…oops). I also learned that I can never be too careful in checking spelling and grammar in both my resume and my writing samples and items in my portfolio.

6)      Tweet Tweet

Before this spring, I knew nothing about Twitter or exactly how widely it is used in the professional world. I have since set up an account and have learned how it is used to publish press releases and how it is used for marketing, representing a company, and breaking news.

7)      PR in A Global Market  

It was fascinating to learn from fellow classmates about the way PR is handled across the globe and the differences in business culture across oceans. For example, each culture has mannerisms or clichés that are colloquial.  It may not be proper to behave the same way in China or India as in the borders of the US. It was also interesting to have the globalization of products such as Coke re-affirmed. It truly is a product known all around the world. There is also a growth in trade and economy happening in places such as South Africa because of influences like tourism.

8)      Interview with a PR Pro

PR is a job for all ages and sexes, as 80 year old Ron Cornette of Wagner Reality proves. In the world of corporate PR, he stays on the cutting edge of computers when representing the company, which he wants to make “shine” and appeal to the public. This interview helped me improve my interview skills as well as learn a little more about the passion driving someone involved in corporate PR.

9)      I’d Do Anything…?

Companies will take great risks nowadays to launch themselves in the spotlight, as seen with the so on edge that it is almost falling off the edge ice cream shop in London offering up breast milk ice cream (!) I have also learned that the accidental outrageous can be turned around for the good of the company. For example, when an employee with Red Cross accidentally tweeted abut Dogfish Head Ale with the hash tag “gettin’ slizzards” on the organization account instead of their personal account, the situation was salvaged, Dogfish Head made a donation, and both saved their reputation in the public eye. It was also debated in class that the situation with the cobra at the Bronx Zoo ended up being not-so-bad news for the zoo. It got the zoo back in the minds of the public, and the Twitter account for the cobra made quite a splash. The bottom line is that crisis PR is crucial as hardships, though maybe not so crazy, are inevitable.

10)   Zip, Zoom!

Information today travels at unstoppable speeds. A strong web presence is important for information control. The positive is that the public can get up to the minute news about what is going on to either solve a problem or what good things a company is up to.

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