Public Relations

The Stigma Around Public Relations

640px-Social-media-for-public-relations1Recently an article in PRWeek asked, Is it time to retire the term ‘public relations?’. In my opinion I couldn’t agree more with author Jeffrey Sharlatch’s take that yes, it might be time for public relations to undergo some new branding.

As a current PR major I have heard every stigma that comes with the term. “Oh you’re studying to be a spin doctor?” Or “that seems pretty easy, do you really need a four year degree for that?” Most people are completely unaware of the true breadth of our field, or that PR is anything more than what Aaron Eckhart’s character does in Thank You for Smoking. My own father has asked me multiple times to definite my major, and often by the end of my long winded description always concludes, “so it’s something like advertising then?”

All these stereotypes are probably why most of large PR firms do not even have the words public relations in their name. Weber Shandwick, Edleman, and JeffreyGroup are just some of the many PR firms that use phrases like “communication strategy,” “public engagement,” and “dialogue” to describe the role of a PR firm.

Public relations as a field is undergoing a metamorphosis, and I would not be surprised if the term PR did as well. As firms incorporate more digital work and advertising, engage the public in a two-way conversation and use alternative media outlets it would not be surprising to see a re-branding of the field. Although unfortunately I do not see it ever becoming easier to define and explain for curious relatives.

Do What You love

To be honest, I’m not much of a blogger. As a kid I always struggled keeping a diary and to this day I wish I had been more diligent. The few entries I have from my childhood are hilarious. But now as a senior about to graduate from the University of Oregon and leap wholeheartedly into the real world, I am definitely more diligent. And while I don’t know exactly where or what company I will be headed to upon graduation, I know what my passions are and where I hope to be.

I am creating this blog to discuss what I find most interesting and important within the field of public relations, while slipping a few of my outside interests into each post. Through writing this blog I hope to improve my writing and grammar, (I might even make a few nerdy AP Style posts), discuss some the most important trends I discover in public relations, and improve my social media skills. While this blog is for professional and classwork purposes, I’m also excited to showcase a bit of me.

As a native Oregonian who has spent 22 years living in three different cities in my beloved state, I would like to think I reflect everything that is best about the Pacific Northwest.  I care about nutrition and eating quality organic foods. Exercise doesn’t always happen in the gym, (although I’m there quite a bit), and I’m often hiking and swimming in anything that’s not a pool. I’m a bit snobby about my air. To me Central Oregon air is so crisp and delicious that air from other places is the equivalent of LA tap water. I care about recycling and I feel a twinge of guilt every time I have to throw something plastic into a trash. Oh and I love French Roast coffee and tea, all the tea.

Essentially I’m passionate about performing the best I can in work and in life. I laugh often, eat well, play outside, and always work towards my goals. My goal for this blog is that each post you read makes you smile at least once, nod if I ever make a good point, (I hope to), and learn something. If you’re a PR pro then hopefully you will learn a little more about me, and if you’re like me and just starting out in public relations, then maybe we can learn together.