Public Relations

How Do I Define Public Relations?

What is my understanding of public relations?

The misconceptions and definitions of PR are seemingly endless both among industry professionals and the general public. When I tell others I am a PR major, the inevitable follow up question is none other than, “so, what exactly does that mean?” To be completely honest, my understanding of the industry was certainly clouded by the immense amount of information I was bombarded by when I googled, “what is public relations.” After more careful research, lectures from professors, and my notes on what PR professionals have to say about their field, I have a much more solid understanding about where I am headed in the public relations industry and why I am motivated to study it the rest of my academic career.

PR is using communication skills to form relationships between organizations and their respective publics using ethical, organic, strategic means to build the best reputation possible and gain a loyal audience. Synthesized from the Public Relations Society of America, Forbes magazine, and my studies in books on the PR industry, my own personal definition of PR is one I have developed carefully, but expect to evolve as this ever-changing industry does. On top of my research on what public relations is, I have found that it is just as important to understand what public relations is not. PR is not about spinning the truth to put on a facade for the public, and is not a cushy job for people who want to make easy money.

Building a better understanding and forming a clearer view of what public relations is and is not has helped me envision what my future in the industry will consist of. By approaching articles, text, and the words of PR professionals with the intention of pulling what I believe to be important and true of the industry, my understanding of public relations has become more personal and more stable, and I am ready with a consistent answer for those who ask me what I am doing in my studies, and where I hope my education will take me. ❈

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