Public Relations: Training, Career and Jobs

A Booklet on Public Relations: Training, Career, and Jobs

PR is basically the way the public perceives you - your public image. It is how the public perceives your product or service. Read ahead to know more...
A long time ago, advertising was considered the king of media and to make your presence known, you were required to spend big bucks in order to promote products and services. Big companies were undoubtedly the masters of the market, because they were the only one who could afford to spend so much money on advertising.

However, over the past few years, dramatic changes have taken place in advertising. All the dotcom companies ingenuously use PR tactics to grab all the attention and make headlines. As a result of this, Internet websites were found to compete with large companies, and would also gain market share in certain industries, thus paving the way for practically anyone to make use of these public relations services and agencies.

Advertising is dead for a number of reasons. The biggest problem with traditional advertising was that it was not possible to determine how so much money was spent in advertising. This, on the other hand, is all about getting paid for performing. If you have the best people handling the job for you, their job is to make sure you are in the news, and that you stay there. Just one well worked out media release could get you huge audiences. And, audiences spell money!

How Public Relations Became the Best of Advertising

By opening the doors to audiences through pitch stories, it creates opportunities to increase sales and brand awareness. PR tools are highly respected because unlike advertising, there aren't any payments made for the publicity received. The practices are essentially promotional tools that add to any product or service offerings. However, making a product or service stand out in a whole crowd is the ultimate goal of any PR campaign.

Undeniably, advertising did rule the market once upon a time and was considered the only solution to marketing and promoting products and services. However today, advertising has been exposed for what it basically is. So, instead of spending all that money on running ads in magazines or newspapers, why not try out PR and instead get free publicity for your products and services?

Proper Training Required

Presently, this is a career option in government institutions and private companies that tend to market their products, services and facilities actively. The specific training programs and courses are spread out throughout educational institutes. Most people are recruited from the field of journalism. The officers are skilled and highly trained professional people with the required knowledge and expertise in certain areas like account management skills, shareholder management during crisis, an introduction to finance, the evolving role of the in-house PR professional, an introduction to consumer relations, and introduction to the software, and so on.

Where to Begin the Journey

As opposed to common belief, people who belong to the 'talkative' category don't necessarily make good professionals. You need more than just the 'gift of the gab' to be successful. Apart from the ability to communicate clearly, you need to have excellent writing skills and also ability to work alongside different types of people, while at the same time work independently.
  • While most organizations don't necessarily require a bachelor degree in this field, people who are interested in getting into the field should be actively involved in work like law, language or business qualification or communications. Other than these educational qualifications, those graduates with work experience in areas like client servicing and customer relations will always have an edge over the others.
  • It is unpredictable and extremely fast-paced. Depending on the organization that you represent or work for, certain events could take place and you can wave goodbye to regular work schedule. As a graduate, it is important to know and understand your job, to learn and grow, and to adapt to the working environment. The training is generally simple but demonstrating enthusiasm and energy is very important.
  • The officers are required to do a variety of different things, so you will be able to enjoy your work. From meeting new and interesting people to traveling extensively, it can be a great job. The only drawback would be that you will be required to work for long hours, especially when a deadline is drawing near. If at all things go wrong, you will be required to think fast and act faster. In this field, crisis management and damage control is part and parcel of your work.
  • There are many activities involved in public relations. So, in an undergraduate course or program, students will most likely be exposed to many activities like publicity, research, advertising, mass media communications, organizational behavior, corporate communications, media writing skills, promotion, public affairs, marketing communications, public speaking, integrated marketing communications, media law and ethics and consumer behavior and branding.
These professionals and practitioners work in industries like consultancies, healthcare organizations, government agencies, public relations firms and agencies, educational institutions, and many are self-employed too.
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