"I'm studying PR in school."
"When I graduate, I really want to work in the PR field."
"I work in a PR firm."
When you say these things, do you often find the person you are speaking to gives you a look that almost says, "Yea! That sounds cool, and I feel like I should know what PR is, but I really have no idea."
Public relations is an interesting field, but also one that invites a lot of questions and is covered in a small cloud of mystery. Is it the same as journalism? What exactly do you do? How do you find a job?
After taking multiple public relations courses I can tell you that no, PR is not the same as journalism. It is a common misconception about the two fields, but journalism's goal is to tell a story to the public. Journalists report the news and gather facts. In public relations, the goal is to represent a client. This means arranging media events, scheduling social media shares, keeping on top of current events and reacting to crisis' surrounding your client, or client's industry.
PR is a field that requires a nose for details, an ear for relevant news, eyes for a creativity and a taste for excitement.
Public relations is a hard field to narrowly define and explain simply to people what exactly what it is that you do like an accountant or salesperson can. A question I often asked myself was how would I find a job? So many people I knew entering college were going into nursing or education. Fields that are so clearly defined and there is no real question of how to get a job when you graduate. Clearly a nursing major will work in a hospital and an education major will become a teacher. Working in PR, you would clearly work... ?
Not knowing the end of that sentence was daunting. However, I have learned that the end of that sentence has an infinite amount of possibilities. Anything that intrigues you - sports, fashion, television, music, food - is likely looking to hire a PR specialist.
As an intern at a PR company, I have learned so much about what goes on on a day to day basis and I have to say I already love everything about it. Not many professionss can offer you a job where every day is different and presents a new challenge. Reacting to media and current events every day, constantly engaging with other people and clients and writing formal and creative pieces are all parts of working in PR.
If you are unsure of where you want to work, or what you want your career to be, you should consider taking a PR class. Nearly anything you are passionate about can be related to public relations and having a job where every day is new and exciting is a truly a great one.