Hello? It’s Public Relations.

I won’t lead off with a Websters dictionary definition, nor an explanation of what the world of Public Relations entails.  Rather, I’ll start off my first blog post for CAP 220 with what I thought of when registering for this class.

Kim Kardashian, Ryan Reynolds, Donald Trump.  What do all of these people have in common?  They must keep their public image in pristine condition…some reputations are in better condition than others.  But in order to succeed in their profession, they have to keep their fans happy and not alienate too many people.  Before I knew anything about this class, the word “publicist” came to mind.  Someone who answers for celebrities to make sure all the right words are said and everyone gets an answer, even if it’s not the one they were hoping for.  The phrases “talk to my publicist,” or “…says her publicist” come to mind when I think of PR in a pop culture setting.

In some ways, a publicist is a public relations professional but the world of PR is not limited to the tasks of maintaining a celebrity image.  Businesses, non-profits, universities, and other entities have similar responsibilities when dealing with the public.  Stories come out all the time about companies doing unethical things within their business operations and deceiving customers, or other stories about athletes donating a chunk of their paycheck to a local children’s hospital.  PR can be good and bad.  The classic phrase of “any publicity is good publicity” is really a myth.  People vote with their wallets and when companies do wrong by them, they have no problem finding an different company to fulfill their need. Alternatively, consumers are usually proud to recommend and promote companies with which they have had a positive experience.

So, what do I want to learn in this class?  I want to find out specifically what public relations firms do and why they are important to companies.  I want to discover cases in which public relations helped and hurt companies or celebrities.  I want to learn more about the ethics behind public relations and where the line is between reporting the truth and protecting an image.  This class seems like it will be challenging but at the same time, informative and useful for the future.

Being a marketing major and coming from a business background, I have a slightly different view than most of my classmates, which is actually awesome!  If everyone was the same and thought the same way, no one would learn anything new.  The reason I chose to major in marketing and minor in Ad/PR was because they compliment each other and provided similar yet different viewpoints.  I’m excited to learn from my Ad/PR major classmates and hopefully share some of my own experiences.

Seeing is believing for me so I enjoy learning from the past, seeing the effects of decision and deciding how actions should be taken in the future.  I like supporting brands that are conscious about their image and uphold their social responsibilities to the consumer.  I hope this class is all I hope for it to be and more.  I’m ready for a challenge…he said a week into the new semester.

Word count: 532


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