First of all, what is public relations? Public relations has several definitions and each person might define it differently. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary public relations is defined as “the activity or job of providing information about a particular person or organization to the public, that people will regard that person or organization in a favorable way”. Prsa.org, defines it as “the strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
After learning more about public relations and experiencing a hands-on process, you begin to start finding a clearer, more special definition of PR and why it is important to you. Public relations is not an easy term to define straight from the dictionary to understand the its’ true meaning. It takes a lot of passion, research, initiative, and growth to understand exactly how PR plays an important role in our lives and what PR professionals do for a living.
Throughout my experience of being a PR major at Sacramento State and an active PRSSA member, I’ve learned to understand PR as an effective communication tool to utilize to engage the public, build and maintain strong relationships with other organizations, and to work towards accomplishing goals that strengthens the community. Below, is a simple to-do list that everyone can use to learn more about PR and being a better PR professional.
- Research everything because “Knowledge is Power.”
- Start looking for conferences, organizations, and other activities within your passion.
- Network with people who have similar interests as you.
- Writing and listening to others is more valuable than you know.
- Fixing your resume and cover letter.
A cover letter is a quick summary about yourself and goes more into detail about your skills, accomplishments, and why you are a good fit for the employer and what you can deliver to their company. Always proofread your resume and cover letter before sending it in. After making those network connections from previous social mixers, always reach out to them to receive any feedback for job postings, resume help, or any other questions. Other people can be really resourceful and in return you might be able to help them out too.
- Don’t ever give up!
Something I’ve always remembered from visiting Randle Communications while participating in the SPRA Networking & Career Day was that I am a young, naive college student sitting at a large conference table in a room filled with achievement awards and trophies wondering how can I get to where they are now? On top of the world, or more realistically speaking, on top of the Golden 1 Center in Downtown Sacramento. Mitch Zak, Partner/Co-Founder of Randle Communications said, “We can teach you how to write press releases, communicate with the media, handle clients, how to campaign events and other work, but the one thing we can’t teach you is to have a heart. Because if you don’t have a heart, then there is no place for you to work with us.” Since then, I have learned to follow my passion, drive for ambition and have love for public relations no matter what.