After taking Sonora Jha’s required 2450 class revolving around the overwhelming presence of media in communications and its daunting effects, the first chapter of Public Relations ironically describes the life of Anne-Marie and how her day is ruled by her iPhone, downloadable newspapers, and various forms of social media. However, this just goes to shows how cohesive the two courses are back-to-back. In this day and age it is necessary to cover all bases in all media platforms, as exemplified in the rest of “Anne-Marie’s” day. As the book so poignantly states, public relations specialists “handle an organization’s relation and communication with the public” and today, that may mean having two iPhones always ready.
As with the rise of the electronic age and the significance of the internet, we find that PR and communications as a career has grown significantly in the recent past. With audience members now being connected on a global level, the PR industry is growing on a universal scale, causing universities all over the world to add majors and degrees in PR and communications. All of these degree aim toward educating students in the art of “social analyzation” and using that to “communicate a function of management through which organizations [can] adapt to.”
The definition of public relation is defined in action. This action is described as deliberate, planned, and performed. I responded to this because of the way I’ve noticed these social media outlets develop; while some actively use twitter and facebook, it is necessary to remember when actions on those specific platforms weren’t as relevant as they were today. A PR person must analyze their audience and deliberately plan a performance for said audience. The performance is then aimed to spark two way communication and public interest as a management function.
The chapter clarifies that Public Relations should not be confused with a glamorous job. It identifies PR as the sixth most stressful job in America, comparing that to a hilarious TV example of Samantha from sex in the city, citing that “PR isn’t all about wearing designer clothes and going to dinner parties.” Rather, PR is a process: Research, Action, Communication, and Evaluation (otherwise known as RACE). These processes pinpoint – to an extent – the core of what a PR person might do on a daily basis. Some examples of what RACE may be used in are listed, including financial relations, public affairs, and special events – all basic processes of public relations work.
As per what I’m assuming was the editors requirement, they add in a detailed “scope of education” that a student pursuing PR may want to consider. This essentially states that students in institutions that provide PR education may want to “highly consider” taking business and economic classes, as it could get them opportunities for higher-level management positions. However, the essential career skills are: writing, research ability, planning, problem solving, social media expertise, and a simple understanding of business and economics. The chapter then describes some notable and highly competitive internships such as Edelman Worldwide and Hill & Knowlton. Finally the chapter concludes with the value of public relations pegging itself as a necessary and public service.