Public relations is an ever-changing and developing field in communications. From the integration of social media to the well-defined practice of press releases, public relations is becoming an appealing field of study for students. For students looking into applying for PR here are a few help thoughts about the truth behind public relations:
1. There's more to PR than being Samantha from Sex and the City.
Sure, her life is glamorous and worth of envy, but there is so much more to PR than being a press agent and dodging the tabloids. This past summer I had the opportunity to work for Heart of Florida United Way in the communications department where change in Central Florida happened daily. I was able to work on campaign materials for programs that evoke positive impacts on education, health, income and basic needs. So if you're like me and could care less about Kim K, PR can still be for you.
2. You don't have to make it big to make it...But don't be afraid to dream big.
Some days I realize I would be completely happy working for a small agency in Cincinnati, OH and other days I'm aspiring to be Dustee T. Jenkins the Vice President of Communications for Target. Whatever I end up pursing the important thing is to focus on the 'why.' For me it's being a writer. I love the pen to paper feel of communication with emphasis on brand management. The key is your direction.
3. It's okay to not know what you want to do with your degree.
I don't have an exit plan. I don't have a strategic map laid out of what I'm going to do with my career through retirement, and that's okay. Research. Research. Research. You'll never find what you love if you don't keep looking. On that note, remember that GPA is just a number. Not every employer is going to view you on that scale, so seek experiences that go beyond the classroom.
4. Try everything and never give up.
My freshman year I was absolutely certain that I wanted to go into sports information. I was completely obsessed with the sport, the fan base, the media buzz that I started to build my mindset around which college university I would be working for. I joined the Florida State radio station as a sports reporter and took an internship with the sports marketing department. I enjoyed both experiences, but realized in the process that sports was really more of a hobby for me. Take action to pursue the things that interest you until you find what you're passionate about.