What is PR?

That’s a great question! And I’m glad you asked random blog passerby and/or faithful reader. “PR” stands for “Public Relations” and it can be defined in many ways, here are a few, courtesy of www.dictionary.com:

  1. The actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc.
  2. The art, technique, or profession of promoting such goodwill.

ALERT: YOU WILL LEARN HISTORY IN THE NEXT 4 SENTENCES. The “father” of modern PR was a man named Edward Bernays, who happened to be the double nephew of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (double nephew means both his parents were siblings to Freud in some way -_-) and shared many Freudian beliefs about people & influence and such (watch a British documentary named The Century of Self to get a better understanding Freud and PR, I’ll provide links for Youtube). But PR didn’t start there; the famous & the powerful have long understood the power of public perception: Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (NOT Keira Knightley, people) was an early practitioner for her good friend Charles James Fox and Caesar was known for his embellished war stories told to the masses. In 1950 the PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) enacted the first “Professional Standards for the Practice of Public Relations” and the rest is history. PR has been a large part of the American (and worldwide) business scene for a while. You might be asking yourself: is PR right for me? I can’t tell you that, but I can tell you why I went into PR:

Why did you get into PR, Jess_AsPRing?
Awesome question; I wanted to work in PR when I was a kid, but I didn’t really know what it was called and I’d only seen publicists on TV (Samantha from SATC and Eddy in AbFab), I’d never met one IRL. In high school, I was told I would make a good barrister (a lawyer) and then I worked with barristers and I realized something: I hate law offices and I never want to set foot in a courtroom. By chance, I got the opportunity to work for a local city government in public affairs and I realized: THIS is what I want to do. Reaching out, building relationships, helping shape someone’s image, strategic thinking: it was heaven!

Why does PR appeal to you so much?
I have always been a “thinker” and a “connector” I love working with people and I love seeing my work. The crazy hours, the deadlines, multi-tasking, they ALL appeal to me! I’m not going to lie, it also seemed pretty glamorous when I was younger and even though I know it isn’t, it still combines what I believe to be the best parts of ME: creativity, strategic thinking and planning, collaboration and relentless perseverance. I know everyday isn’t gonna be glitz and glam, but I even love the hard days; when every journalist turns down my pitch, the coffee is out and boss is breathing down my neck I LOVE PR.

So should I get into PR?
I can’t answer that, sorry! I can only speak for myself and I know PR is for me (hence this blog!), here’s some reading (and watching) that could help YOU decide if PR is for you:

Adam Curtis’s “The Century of Self”
Is Public Relations Right For You?
Why Public Relations? A College Student’s Perspective
Is PR Right For Me?
Public Relations Student Society of America

Hope that helped! XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing

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