My preconceptions of PR before entering this class were that Public Relations makes up everything about a person, organization, or a company. I thought that it’s a huge part of your brand and it’s essentially everything you communicate; whether verbally or nonverbally. After entering this class, I learned that Public Relations is so much more. It’s more of a communication process that works on building relationships between organizations and the public (PRSA). I wasn’t necessarily wrong with my preconceptions of PR, it technically is a large part of your brand and how that brand communicates. It’s kinda like a helping hand. I imagine a cartoon man, (dressed in a white-and-blue checkered shirt tucked into khakis, with hipster glasses, Converse, and a skinny black tie) reaching out to a business man (who is hunched over his desk stressed, massaging the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger (like this) while his other hand grips his glass of whiskey) saying, “I’m here to help, sir.”
I think PR is so special because it fixes problems. Steve Barrett of PR Week stated, “The value that PR brings to the table is undisputed.” He goes on by stating that Public Relations addresses two of the most “necessary and challenging” aspects of a business, which include crisis management and social media (Berg). In every business there is going to be some sort of crisis, and in this day and age it’s probably going to be on social media, but PR is there to pick up the business, dust it off, and send it on its way back to success again. It is extremely helpful because most people do not handle a crisis or a negative Facebook comment well but PR specializes in it (we don’t want Joe Schmo on the company Facebook page addressing negative reviews with his colorful language that’s for sure).
Public opinion is super crucial for businesses everywhere and PR can make or break the public’s opinion on whatever your business is going through. The Father of Public Relations himself said, “Perhaps the most significant social, political, and industrial fact about the present century is the increased attention which is paid to public opinion” (Bernays). PR is such a useful construct because any business, no matter what that business is, would not be successful without its public opinion. If the public has no interest or negative opinions in a business then it will not be successful – that is until Public Relations comes along and manages this crisis. (“It’s handled,” – Olivia Pope (Rhimes)).
Berg, K. T. (2017, January 18). Trends in Public Relations: Exploring the Role of Ethics as it Relates to Social Media and Crisis Communication. Retrieved September 24, 2017, from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23736992.2016.1260992
Bernays, E. L. (2004). Crystallizing public opinion. New York: Kessinger Pub.
PRSA. (2017, April 24). About Public Relations. Retrieved September 24, 2017, from http://apps.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/publicrelationsdefined/
Rhimes, S. (Producer). (2012). Scandal [Television Series]. ABC Studios / ShondaLand.