Cara Mitchell

March 27, 2009

How do you explain PR?

Filed under: Other — by caramitchell @ 12:02 pm
Tags: ,

Many times when I meet new people (especially people older than me), and we have that introductory conversation, it often goes something like this:

PLAIN JANE: So, you’re at Clemson what’s your major?

ME: It’s Communication Studies.

JANE: Oh okay….so what do you want to do with that? 

ME: I’m hoping to work in public relations.

JANE: Oh, okay…So, what exactly is that?

As PR students, and people interested in PR, we know how to define PR. We know all about the multiple definitions our textbooks give, and the multiple views that people have of PR.

But, how do you explain PR?

First of all, I’m a bit shocked by how many people still really don’t know what PR is.  So, how do you explain PR to these people. I was at the beauty salon over spring break and one of the barber’s who worked there and I had this conversation.

Lately whenever a conversation goes  this way I’ve started asking the person to pick any organization or company. And then I explain to them what a public relations practitioner would/could and is supposed to do for that organization.

Through my public relations classes I’ve also learned that it’s also important to emphasize to people who don’t know what PR is, or who have a skewed view of PR that it is not underhanded and all about putting the right spin on a message- when it’s done PRoperly :).

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So, how do you do it?

I’m sure that many of us ( especially students) find ourselves in the situations all of the time where we are explaining PR, so how do you find yourself telling others about what PR is? I’m just interested in knowing if there are other people who have a particular way of answering this question (that I seem to be asked all of the time).

Please, share your stories and methods!

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