Why everyone needs (good) PR

What is Public Relations? 

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It’s simple really. PR acts as a bridge between an entity/person and its audience(s). We are the middle man. We break barriers that tend to build when communication (external and internal) is lacking. We attempt to avoid crises…but our methods aren’t foolproof. 

I love the field that I am gaining an education in. It’s fast-paced and constantly evolving. There’s nothing static about public relations. We are the people who are learning the importance of a simple tweet or Facebook post. We know how to break down the Return on Investment of free platforms which allow companies to interact with loyal customers. 

I find it’s tough to be confident about the field of PR as a budding practitioner. We catch flack for our positions within companies; not many people know (or care to know) about the importance of our insight. We have to be aware 100% of the time. Meaning we have to know the positives and negatives of the internal culture of the client as well as the external variables that exist. Hindrances are often and accolades are few. 

In all honesty, that’s what motivates me. I’m determined to prove why PR is integral to a successful business or simple venture. Social media is the forefront communication. I like to think that after several classes focused on social media, I know what’s going on without hesitation. That’s just not the case, though. Again…PR is fast-paced and ever evolving. Anything and everything will change from one minute to the next. Timelines are obsolete because there are no solidified predictions. 

I’m excited to see where PR will be in 5 years. I have a feeling we will become the go-tos versus the “what do you do?” 

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Empowerment and whatnot

I never thought I was a “pretty girl” in high school.

To be completely honest, I didn’t give myself time to worry about what I looked like when I was at school. I knew what clothes I was going to wear (uniforms–dreaded khakis and navy/white polos) and hardly ever found the time to fix my hair in a reasonable fashion.

I wanted to give off the appearance that I didn’t need any type of positive reinforcement for how I dressed/looked/acted, but secretly I was desperate for turning heads and flirtatious glances. Again, I never thought I was “attractive.” I think that stemmed from going against the grain; I didn’t tan, I didn’t have to touch up my roots and I usually wore a sports bra to school.

I wasn’t doing this in spite of the status quo or societal norms. I just didn’t care or (again) didn’t have the time to be concerned. There was still that little voice in my head telling me I was missing out on something; I wasn’t asked on many dates and I usually went to dances with guy friends. I certainly didn’t date much, and I liked to make the excuse that I wasn’t interested in anyone.

I was one of the lucky ones, though. I had the opportunity to prove I was something other than “pretty.” I was always encouraged to challenge myself in other ways and pursue leadership opportunities when they presented themselves. (Thanks, mom.) I also like to think that I was freakishly mature in some ways, which made social settings kind of awkward.

Basically, I wasn’t hot by anyone’s standards. In hindsight, I’m kind of glad. I was able to be successful based upon my talents not easily seen at first glance. I was confident in my intellect and wanted to leave the place I called home to learn more. Again, I was one of the lucky ones.

What young girls need RIGHT NOW is for someone to tell them how special they are. It doesn’t have to be every minute or even every day, but it has to be said by someone other than the guy they have a crush on. Girls in middle school and high school need to know what they are capable of contributing to society–something other than a sexy body or pretty face. There isn’t enough genuine, authentic love represented in our culture (especially via reality TV).

No wonder girls are so quick to compete to be the “sexy” one at age…what…13? That’s atrocious. You can’t be sexy at 13.

So, from a woman who has found her confidence but still needs some encouragement:

  1. Embrace the awkward stage as much as possible.
  2. Life gets better after high school.
  3. Pick your passions and your role models wisely.
  4. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  5. Someone will appreciate you for your quirks one day, I promise.

There are websites and blogs devoted to being a smart girl and loving yourself. I would love to use my talents in social media and education in creating workshops that would encourage self-esteem and discourage irrational social media use in middle and high school-aged girls. We are all reporters and publishers in the world of social media, and we all disseminate information each day to our audiences. We have to hold ourselves accountable and work diligently to avoid future Steubenville cases.