Public Relations is a fun, yet challenging, career field because…

I cannot really answer this honestly because I have not worked in the PR world yet. But I completed a hospitality/PR internship over the summer and seeing PR work in the real world instead of on a textbook page is something I will never forget. The challenge with PR is that most people do not know that they are being grouped into a guest characteristic. While working in the rooms division (front desk, concierge, housekeeping, etc.) of this resort I was able to determine the different types of guests that were about to approach me in the hall or at the front desk. This is an invaluable tool to have when looking at potential customers or the potential audience that your campaign or pitch will have. After speaking for a few moments with each guest I could determine what things would keep the guest happy and what would make the guest start to get agitated or have a change in mood. Being able to quickly determine this was key in getting my guests checked in happy, or keeping them happy for the remainder of the stay.

The challenge that PR practitioners face every day is making a customer angry or upset, or insulting the audience by writing a bad press release, creating a bad ad, or even putting the wrong message out with a pitch. Working with an already agitated customer who has a very narrow idea of what they need/want is also a difficult challenge to face because any wrong move could set them off and leave you with nothing. This field is always changing in new ways for practitioners and this keeps things new and fresh.

Why is Research so important for a Public Relations Practitioner?

Research is important for any job in any career. But for a PR practitioner, research can make or break a campaign or pitch. Practitioners spend weeks, months, or even years putting together a campaign for their client, and if they wrote the entire campaign without researching anything about it then it will most likely fail. When making a campaign you have to research the client themselves, the audience, the location, the business, the surrounding areas, numbers, etc. and not researching these things can be disastrous for the firm, campaign, and client.

If you do not have research to back up a claim then the claim would not be taken seriously and all credibility would be lost. A PR practitioner relies on credibility with clients so their good word will bring in more clients and revenue.

 

Comparing and contrasting modern communication tools with traditional communication tools through the eyes of a PR Practitioner

Modern communication tools are tools that are online, cellular, and technology related. Some of these are Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and many many others. Also most, if not all, newspapers have online websites and journals that can be accessed 24/7. This form of communication never stops. Traditional communication tools are newspapers and telecasts or broadcasts.

PR Practitioners who use modern tools have a slight upper hand with working with social media.They can put information and breaking news in an instant which is significantly faster than going through a reporter and having to write a story and then waiting for it to be published. In my personal opinion I believe that modern technology is more efficient but not as reliable as waiting for a published article in a newspaper. Sure, getting information out as soon as it is known is fantastic, but it isn’t always the best way to get information out. If someone saw an arrest happening that doesn’t look like its following protocol and they tweet about it then they have probably sparked some outrage; but if they wait and report back to a reporter or editor of a newspaper and wait for the police to give information also then they can accurately report a story.

Going old school and using a reporter or anchor of a tv station usually means that you have gathered plenty of information before you’ve pitched a story. Using a newspaper reporter generally takes longer for the story to get out but when it does it usually has all the facts needed to present a thorough story. That goes for a broadcaster also. Granted TV takes less time to get on air than it takes to write a story and publish it, but the difference with TV is that the story can continually get updated through breaking news. No one likes breaking news because it always interrupts our tv shows, but it does do some good.

Both modern and traditional tools need PR Practitioners though. Social media needs practitioners so that what they are saying cant be used against them at a later time and newspaper journalists and tv anchors need practitioners to provide them with stories, press releases, and breaking news. So neither would really get very far without a PR Practitioner helping them along the way.

Credentials for PR practitioners?

I believe that the PRSSA should require that all PR practitioners be required to take a test and receive a license in order to own/run a PR firm. This would clean up some of those who don’t follow the ethics codes completely and also allow those who run their practices by the rules to succeed and get ahead of the competition. Some firms argue against this because it would create a smaller playing field for the rest of the firms. Also, most wouldn’t be able to pass a certification so their practice would have to be closed.

Creating a certification for PR practitioners would not go against any first amendment rights because they wouldn’t be taking away anything. The First Amendment right guarantees you freedom of speech and making sure those who exercising that right are doing it morally and ethically.

Are ethics important for PR practitioners?

Why are ethics important in the PR world? Why do they matter? The Merriam-Webster definition for ethics is the following: an area of study that deals with ideas about what is good and bad behavior : a branch of philosophy dealing with what is morally right or wrong. So, ethics is the little voice in your head saying that what you are doing is not morally right. What is defined as unethical is up to each individual person. Something that is highly unethical to one person may not be as unethical to another.

Ethical rules are broken every single day in the professional world and yet only a very small amount of those ethical rule breakers are caught. And when they are? There is rarely a harsh discipline for it. But who defines what is ethical or not? The professional world and society as a whole deems what is ethical or not. Society does not like when someone hides something for so long and then tries to deny it over and over. It’s certainly unethical to keep secrets about a highly decorated individual that could potentially hurt someone or something and not tell someone about the problem. It is unethical to delete emails if you were lazy with security measures and you try to hide it. It is VERY unethical to burn a source if you’re getting good, dependable, information and you decide to save yourself instead of the informant who risked so much for you.

What is the difference between PR Practitioners and the media?

For starters, let’s make it very clear that the PR world does not hate the media world. We may not like the media sometimes, and most of the time the media does not like us; but we gotta stick together in order to get both of our jobs done. But what truly is the difference between us PR’ers and the media?

The media is all about stories. It does not matter what you really tell the media because more than likely they’ll spin it in a totally different direction. Why do people love watching Young and the Restless or Bold and the Beautiful? Because of their stories!! Soap operas do not even remotely care about the accuracy of a story line.. They focus on the story! Sure, a character could’ve been abducted and “killed off” but that has no effect on the story line because the same character will come back with a face transplant two weeks later. The media works the same way. You can give them a story about a rescuing a dog and they’ll change the direction of being rescued to why a dog was in the position of being rescued in the first place.

The PR world is totally opposite. We have a direction we need the media to go in so that we can get our point across. We have a particular audience with a particular agenda and if the media were to stray away from our direction then the story and the effort would go to waste. We like to be particular about the information that gets across and to have some other twist be put on our story, it would cause failure of the PR pitch.

 

Communication is power

Communication is power because it can be used by groups of people to share knowledge and ideas to reach a common goal. If not for communication alliances, such as that between Australia and the United States of America currently, would not exist. Because of this alliance, trading has been made much easier and more efficient for the two countries. Communication has put the US and Australia a step ahead of other countries because they are more powerful together rather than on their own.

With communication you have the power to change how someone thinks, feels, or even acts. By manipulating words or phrases many politicians have changed the views of voters and even changed their votes completely. For example, many Republican politicians have begun referring to global warming as a change in climate because it makes the situation sound less frightening. By doing so they have made the idea of global warming seem abstract thus persuading people to have more Republican views on such a topic. This form of communication gives the communicator a more persuasive tone which allows them to manipulate people’s views.