Happy Halloween Eve! October is coming to an end, and soon my undergraduate college experience will end too. As some of you may have experienced, the closer you get to graduation the more overwhelming your emotions get. Although I will miss my early college years, I am excited about my chosen career path of public relations. “What is public relations?” I get asked that question all of the time. As important as public relations or PR is to people who own businesses or run organizations, it amazes me how much people do not know about it if they know of public relations at all.
Public Relations Society of America, otherwise known as PRSA, defines public relations as a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and their publics. This means I as a PR professional will have to build connections with other professionals, businesses, media outlets, and target audiences for my organization. My job is to represent the organization and build an outstanding reputation that will contribute to its success.
Honestly, I didn’t begin my college career wanting to major in public relations. I actually had no idea about PR at all and what it meant. It wasn’t until my sophomore year when I knew I wanted to change my major from rehabilitation services, that I found out about PR. I was watching a reality TV show that was about a striving boutique business, and one of the characters on the show always stood out to me because I enjoyed watching her make business decisions, plan events and advise her client. I thought to myself, “This is something I could really do.” I have always been a creative person and I love to organize projects, events, etc. I also like contributing ideas to help others with their success and helping them see the bigger picture. The person who introduced me to public relations turned out to be PR professional, Kelli Flournoy, who also resides in Atlanta and owns a firm (Kelley Brand Communications).
For me, public relations is becoming a love and a passion and I want to learn more about it every day. I always tell my classmates who are journalism majors that I wish I could just take PR classes every day. I get a rush researching available jobs and internships, because there are so many opportunities in this field. I believe that is the best part of public relations. The opportunities are boundless, and you’re going to travel, see different things, be at major events and meet successful people. With a profession that enables you to shift and change, how could life be dull?
I have goals for my future. Where will I be exactly? I don’t know that answer yet, but I do know that I am doing everything I need to now to make it in this field including working on my own brand. If I could offer any advice to a senior high school or freshman student, I would tell them that majoring in something with no passion is unhealthy and demotivating. Nurture your talents and take your time to figure out what it is you would want to do with the rest of your life.