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Posts Tagged ‘Public Relations’

It’s interesting to recognize that working at a public relations firm may be the closest thing to a profession where I use everything my major required.

As employees at Saxum have said, they feel fortunate to work in a firm where they use skills incorporating writing – press releases, op-eds, memos, talking points, etc.,  media/client relations, campaigns/event planning, media tracking, research, social media, creative aspects; all that public relations entails.

Not only does working at a PR firm include using communication skills, but as I became involved with clients I learned about their company and what they represent, sometimes using skills I learned in what I thought was a “filler” or “gen. ed.” course in college.

There are various careers in communications that actually have little to do with public relations. PR is such an all-encompassing occupation, yet the jobs that appear in communications searches have little to do with it.

Here are some examples of what is often confused as being public relations:

  • Human resources
  • Marketing
  • Development
  • Advertising
  • Sales

Although they may contain an aspect of communications, they aren’t exactly public relations.

Luckily there is hope for those who are seeking a career upon graduation in one of the more popular college majors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow by 18 percent from 2006 to 2016, faster than average for all occupations. This is because businesses will decide to contract public relations through a firm rather than support full-time staffed positions.

So what does one do?

Decide what aspect of the major is most important to you.

If I were to decide that I enjoyed every aspect, then I guess I would choose to wait for my turn in line to apply for a career with public relations in the title.

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Public relations professionals tend to have similar personality traits and skills.

According to careermag.com, PR people tend to be: “friendly, outgoing, and enthusiastic; affectionate articulate, and tactful; highly empathetic but easily hurt; creative and original; decisive and passionately opinionated, productive, organized and responsible.” So how do you determine the field that suits you best?

After researching personality traits from PR job descriptions on careerbuilder.com, I’ve compiled a few personality distinctions among corporate, agency and non-profit public relations.

Corporate PR:

  • Loyalty – willing to maintain the goals and mission statement of one corporation.
  • Competitive nature – has the company’s competition always in mind; outshining the competition must be important in the communications department of a corporation.
  • Confidence – readily manages the pressure of “big business” in a fast-paced environment.

Agency PR:

  • Adaptability – operates with several companies and adapts easily to their various needs.
  • Vibrancy – often in twenties and thirties, which creates a young, energetic environment.
  • Teamwork – all are familiar with various forms of communication and work in teams to research, brainstorm and implement campaigns, likely an everyday task.

Non-profit PR:

  • Self-starter – often in a more laid-back environment and needs to work outside a typical PR job description to aid the organization; requires being inventive without supervision.
  • Independence – rarely more than two communications specialists for the organization; must be able to work independently on multiple projects and take the initiative to work without needing help.
  • Benevolence – loves philanthropy, performing good or charitable acts, and is not seeking to make a large profit.

If you are a public relations professional working in either corporate, non-profit, or agency communications, leave a comment and let others know what personality traits you think it takes to succeed in your particular field.

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OKstate’s PRSSA chapter had an on-site visit Tuesday, April 7 at Stillwater’s Meridian Technology Center.

Meridian Technology CenterWe heard from Tawny Dotson, strategic communications director, and Ken Koch, chief communications and marketing officer. They gave us a guided tour of the facility and told us about opportunities Meridian offers through various career based classes.

I wasn’t familiar with Meridian and the classes they offer to people of all ages. Their best form of spreading awareness is through word-of-mouth, so I’m going to put in a plug for them on the sociallyorange.org network that if you or someone you know is interested in learning more about any of the following please consider taking a short course or full-time career training from Meridian:

Architecture & Construction

Business, Management, & Administration

Finance

Health Science

Hospitality & Tourism

Human Services

Information Technology

Manufacturing

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics

Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics

or a vast number of short courses!

I’m going to advise PRSSA chapter members to take advantage of on-site visits even if you don’t think it applies to your specific career plan, because I went to this on-site visit knowing very little about Meridian but now I know quite a bit and will keep in mind the opportunities that technology centers have to offer.

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interior_design

I was drafting work similar to this.

I began my college career as an Interior Design major mainly because I had no clue what else to do and I enjoyed watching HGTV.

After a semester of all-nighters and the realization that I needed to love interior design because the job market is limited, I decided to get out and try a major that would provide me with broader career opportunities.

Not only had I met numerous friendly, involved, hardworking students my first semester of college who were PR majors, but I just knew that being a person who loves interaction, communication, and anything but science, PR was the major for me.

public relationsSince my second semester freshman year, I have never looked back on my decision to pursue public releations. It’s interesting how expansive a PR professional’s knowledge can be. I actually used my drafting/interior design skills in a PR internship one summer when I was planning an event and needed a sketch of a building layout to plan where booths and games would be located within. Sometimes I complain about the random electives and gen. eds that are required of a PR student, but it makes perfect sense to have a well-rounded knowledge. Because with PR, you never know what company you might end up working for or with.

I’ve never been one to have one interest. My interests are always changing and expanding so I’m thankful that upon graduation I will have the freedom to find a job with a company that fits my personality.

If you love people, writing and communication and you’re a potential OKstate student or aren’t satisfied with your major, consider majoring in public relations. I’m so glad I did!

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School of Journalism and Broadcasting

I am currently enrolled in PR Research and Campaigns with Gina Noble. Seeing that it’s a capstone course, which involves using everything learned in previous required JB courses, it’s only fitting that this class requires students to put what we know into practice.

The most exciting part of this course, for me, is the group work. It is the first time that I really feel the benefits of teamwork and what can be accomplished when working with others toward a common goal. Despite the fact that I was incredibly lucky to have been paired up with three talented group members, I am truly seeing the advantages of working as a team. Through brainstorming, researching, and developing goals and objectives, I’ve discovered how exciting putting together a campaign for an organization, such as Mission of Hope, can be.

There should be more details to come about the project itself, but I want to let OKstate PR students know that JB4843 is a course to look forward to. When you are in your senior year as a JB student I hope that you are lucky enough to be partnered with a great group to work on this semester-long campaign.

Although I can work independently, I’ve discovered that working in a team environment is extremely beneficial in advising a strategic plan, and I look forward to working on campaigns with others in the future.

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