Public Relations as a Career Option

Nancy Anderson
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The rapid surge and popularity of blogs, twitter, and social media sites (Facebook now tops Google for weekly visits) clearly shows that people are communicating; a lot. In fact, these new trends have led to the creation of entirely new occupational fields and the demise of others. If you are interested in communications as a career, you should keep an eye on the trends and statistics that will shape the communications industry and define the communication jobs of the future.

The communications industry has changed only in terms of how messages are delivered. Technology has made it possible for you to tell millions of people across the globe what you had for breakfast before you even leave the table. But what hasn’t changed is the quality of the message and your need to get it out to people. Consumers want to cut through the hype and get the real story. This is why public relations will always be a necessary component in the communications industry.

Public relations is often the story about the human interest side of an individual or company. One story tells about a shoe manufacturer who once donated a pair of shoes to a third-world country for every pair of shoes they sold online. They weren’t going to get rich on this endeavor because they gave away a lot of shoes. But that wasn’t the point. They genuinely wanted to provide shoes for people who couldn’t afford them. This effort also made a favorable impression on the company.

Public relations has often been misconstrued as only a damage control piece of the marketing mix, such as when Toyota needed to regain the trust of their consumers after the major recalls. A recent statistic cites that 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 14% trust advertisements. Public relations is not advertising, but it is a critical part of a promotional strategy. It is important because blogs, twitter, and social media are not advertising forums—it is people exchanging information and talking about what they like.

As a PR practitioner, you can build a good career in a niche market where you have an interest such as travel, technology, finance, etc. The key skills for a public relations specialist include coming up with clever ideas quickly, establishing relationships with media professionals, and promoting a favorable image for companies and products. Check out Nexxt for an extensive resource on job opportunities, career seeking solutions, and career advancement tips.

By: David Jensen

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  • Jim G
    Jim G
    Not only is public relations not advertising...duh.  It is an implied third-party endorsement of the message you are sending.  It does not necessarily need to be a "human interest" story to be news.  It just has to be factual.  In addition, news (as reported in legitimate news outlets) about a company is 10 or more times credible than advertising or social media for that matter.  Your story( and subsequent postings0 needs to be amended. In order to be a public relations professional and credible, it is highly desireable to have some experience.  That experience can come from being a reporter with a news medium or with a professional public relations agency.  One cannot expect to get a degree and open a business.
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