By: Kylee Reinert @kyleereinert
Have you ever sat back and thought, “What exactly is PR?” Or better yet, been asked this question on the spot? Coming up with an answer is a bit harder than you would think. The common perception is that PR is all about sitting back, relaxing with clients, and talking to the media when needed. However, anyone with knowledge of the field knows this is far from the truth- it’s this (minus the sitting back and relaxing) and about 1000 more things. There are so many facets to PR and what it entails, that even the most seasoned professionals are constantly learning. Nearly everyone has used public relations in a form or two whether they realize it or not. Here are just a few things encompassed by public relations that anyone can use.
You may not realize it, but everything you do represents your brand. Your actions and how you present yourself all build your reputation, and knowing how to manage that is important. Some careers require a bit more personal branding than others, but no matter what career you go into, you need to represent yourself at some point. Knowing how to put your best, most put-together foot forward is a must.
Whether it be a wedding, birthday party, or day trip vacation, everyone has had to plan something. It can be stressful but staying organized while it seems like you’re juggling a million little details is something we can all benefit from. PR pros have to be good at staying level headed when things don’t go according to plan, and thriving under pressure is one of the best qualities they can have. These skills are useful for anyone, though. Rolling with the punches is the best way to ensure a smooth event.
Social Media Managing
For the past decade or so, social media skyrocketed to be one of the top tools PR practitioners use. From LinkedIn to Twitter and Instagram, there are so many platforms to post on and keep to your personal brand. However, you wouldn’t post the same content to our Snapchat as we are our LinkedIn (at least I hope not!). The same goes for public relations. Knowing what to post where to best connect with that platform’s target audience is much more important than you would think- with both personal and business accounts.
“It’s all about who you know.”
This is something we’ve all heard a thousand times, but it’s because it’s true. Connections are so important not only to public relations but to any career. In public relations, it’s necessary to build relationships with the media contacts, your coworkers, local professionals, mentors, and more. Other industries might not have quite an extensive list, but having strong relationships in the corporate world are key. Taking the time to connect with people can mean the difference between a job offer or not getting an interview. Don’t let that be your only motivation behind building connections, however. Building strong relationships is a reward itself, and if the relationship is a genuine one it can only benefit you.
These are only a handful of key things public relations deals with, but I could go on and on about how everyone can use these skills in their lives. And if you find yourself thinking public relations might be the career for you, then you’ve come to the right website.
Kylee Reinert is a junior at Grand Valley State University. She is in the Advertising and Public Relations program, emphasizing in Advertising with a minor in psychology. She is a member of GV’s PRSSA chapter, and an Account Associate with its student-run public relations firm, GrandPR. Kylee is on the hunt for her first internship, and after graduation hopes to be a copywriter or brand strategist. When she’s not glued to her laptop or being a barista, Kylee enjoys cooking, listening to music, and exploring Grand Rapids.