What’s In A Name?

I am a college student majoring in Mass Communications. This week in class we discussed the negative stigma behind the term “Public Relations”. It was discussed that some jobs may overlook you when reviewing an application if that title is on the resume. Potential clients tend to shy away from PR persons because they feel like they aren’t needed and can’t really benefit their business when they already have a manager. We also discussed the difference between a practitioner and a manager. Many times the roles can cross. Clients and sometimes the practitioners themselves don’t understand the difference.

I believe that there is nothing wrong with using the term “Public Relations” when it concerns your job title. The title “Public Relations” expresses adaptability. When you think of Public Relations there are many fields a practitioner can play a role in, whether it be a publicist, management, image consulting, etc.

Since the world of public relations has so many branches it allows the practitioner the options of working in different areas. As a PR practitioner we wear many hats.  I believe that when you narrow down your role to a simple job title, it sets the practitioner in a category, limiting the person’s creativity and job options that they are capable of accomplishing.

A public relations practitioner and a manager’s role cross very often. Although they both work in correlation to one or another they offer different assets and play different roles with the same superior intent. Both roles serve a purpose and the ultimate goal is to make their mutual client a great success. A manager’s role depends on the type of area you’re working on. An entertainment manager’s role would be to book events, shows, appearances, making sure that the client is always working on a different project. The manager continuously makes sure that the client has potential roles lined up and castings to ensure that a steady income.

A public relations practitioner’s position suggests that they deliver information to the general public about the client including activities, events, website, and contact information. In order to do this they would distribute press releases ensuring that the every media outlet is aware and publishing the information. It is also in the job description to promote the clients brand by advertising and pitching. I also believe that it is a public relation practitioner to shape the image of the client in the public; this includes crisis management.

To conclude I offer the thought of changing this negative perception behind the title “Public Relations”. As practitioners it is our job to change perceptions and damage control. Changing the perception behind our title should be our easiest job yet!

– Jasmine Lucas

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