The world of marketing communications is constantly flowing at a rapid rate. Because of this it is difficult for a person, brand, or even idea to stay relevant and connected to the masses. Essentially, public relations is relating to the public. Yeah that does sound pretty redundant, but it’s the truth. Despite being romanticized on television or in movies the portrayals usually do emphasize how stressful the job can be. It is through that medium that I gained most of my insight on public relations before being exposed to it. To me it seemed as though public relations is purely crisis communications. Kristen Wiig in The Martian or the character Seth Grayson from House of Cards and many others seem to engage in only crisis communications or media relations on a daily basis; this is not the case. They also never have a crisis management plan, which is extremely important according to W. Timothy Combs on page 5 of Ongoing Crisis Communication: Planning, Managing, and Responding. There are many more facets to the field. Described by PRSA, Public Relations Society of America, as being “about influencing, engaging and building a relationship with key stakeholders across a myriad of platforms in order to shape and frame the public perception of an organization.”
Believe it or not, a person working in public relations will do more than engage in crisis communications, despite the strangely frequent need for it on television. It is my belief that any website with a .gov is a decently credible source, but who knows anymore with this administration. Either way, I will cite the Bureau of Labor Statistics and their comprehensive list of duties for a Public Relations Specialist. The first job listed is writing of press releases and the gathering of information for media. A public relations specialist will have a close relationship with the news media. This tends to be a primary medium for a PR message. However, there will be dozens of other press releases being thrown at a news outlet. Therefore, it would be our job to compile a news letter that catches someone’s attention and is worth their time to include in their slot. On top of this the media may ask questions or need more information. That is why we do our research and gather our facts and information.
Public relations can be, and usually is, crucial to a brand’s success. Similar to advertising in the way that the main goal is to reach out to target markets and engage with them. However, it is different in that public relations is about the relations part. It is a unique form of marketing communications because the goal is to build a relationship with masses of people. This is the part of the work that intrigues me. To create an almost interpersonal relationship between the general public and a client is no easy task, but it is something that I would love to be a part of. Without communication like this companies and brands could become the next airliner disaster, if you know what I’m saying. Public relations is necessary no matter what others may say. A PR specialist can avert a crisis, get your name out there, and create that bond between your audience.
All About PR. (n.d.). Retrieved September 06, 2017, from https://www.prsa.org/all-about-pr/
Ongoing Crisis Communication. (n.d.). Retrieved September 06, 2017, from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=CkkXBAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=crisis%2Bcommunication&ots=NHua3hlm7j&sig=f-fC0I85-VzC5R2yH-yTsktRpBU#v=onepage&q=crisis%20communication&f=false
Summary. (n.d.). Retrieved September 06, 2017, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/public-relations-specialists.htm#tab-2