PR: Jack & Master of All Trades

In a world of different professions, it is easy to segregate a person’s talent. A politician should stick to politics, educators to teaching, troops to military, and so on. There is one profession however, that can truly do it all. Public relations is the career where relationships, intelligence and strategy combine to create a well-rounded practitioner.

PR just recently merged with military in Pakistan. A PR officer was promoted in the Pakistani military. According to the press report, one of the reasons for the promotion was the officer’s ability to negotiate and communicate with other solders and troops. He was capable of relating to people even in a combat role.

Can PR people truly do it all? I believe they can because PR concentrates on relationships and strategy. PR people are always looking for the next opportunity and how to achieve it.

If a PR person with no military background can make it in the armed forces and move up the ranks, then why can’t PR people join other occupations? PR is one of the most versatile career fields and allows for endless possibilities.

What’s your take?

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5 Responses to PR: Jack & Master of All Trades

  1. Jasmine Safaie says:

    I find it extremely interesting that a public relations officer was promoted in the Pakistani military. This is a perfect example of why I got into PR in the first place, because of its versatility. When deciding a major my freshman year, I knew one thing, and that was I didn’t want to do the same thing over and over for the rest of my life. Along came the option of public relations, and I was immediately swayed. PR takes on so many different roles and there are a variety of aspects to the field. I would never have thought the skills obtained as a public relations officer would grant a position in the military, but it just goes to show how options are endless in the PR field.

  2. Taylor Nelson says:

    I think that this is a terrifying example for a very good thing. It is interesting to me that the Pakistani army promoted someone merely on their basis to communicate; in a military context, this does concern me. I think that those promotions should be at least partially based on strategic understanding, and other things, but that is a discussion for another day.

    In terms of whether PR can “truly do it all,” I think that depends on your definition of public relations. Did you mean that in terms of whether the profession or the professional can take on anything?

    In terms of the former, I think the field itself has seen significant growth. A typical PR job now includes things like social media strategy, coverage monitoring and analysis, and more. Long gone are the days where it was “just about the press release.” That said, I think a lot of this has to do with the versatility of PR professionals. So many PR pros began in other field. Some, like Julie Frisoni, who spoke to PRSSA last week, began in journalism or other communications fields; others merely “fell into” a PR position. I think the strength in public relations professionals is in their adaptability. It is, in fact, one of the biggest keys to our success, as adaptability in crisis is necessary. I think that unique trait does in fact make it possible for PR to “do it all.”

  3. Matthew Covert says:

    I think that PR is still evolving as an industry. So the needs of PR firms are also evolving. Because we are in a Schumpeterian moment in history, there are as many roles being created for PR professionals as there are being destroyed. PR professionals may be expected to be Web masters at the moment, but eventually PR firms will find a way to divide up these roles more efficiently. I think in an academic environment, it is easy to get lost in “what we should know” opposed to what we need to know. PR professionals should know InDesign, Photoshop, photography, graphic design and the list goes on. But PR professionals only need to know the key skills involved in engaging their publics, however, the need to be engaged.

  4. Natalie Crandall says:

    Personally, I do not believe Public Relations Specialists can do everything, but the one thing they can do effectively is communicate. Communication is the one way to unite as well as lead individuals and when someone has an extraordinary talent for delivering messages, everyone will listen. It is no surprise that a PR professional was promoted to a position in the military. When it comes to PR, it is necessary to learn how to work with any type of business in any type of setting and the military is no exception. Public Relations specialists have a knack for seeing objectives and strategies from an outside perspective but then solve them internally.

  5. Elissa Harrison says:

    I find this article to be very interesting and was not ready for the spin you had on it. Though I like to optimism in this situation, I don’t PR specialist can do it all. Though I do agree the traits and skills we developed in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as well as the skills we develop in the real world will be useful in many life scenarios I don’t think we can do all. One important trait I believe we learn is our ability to communicate effectively. We see this PR specialist due this in the military that was stated above. Being able to communicate and persuade will get you far in life but there are many other skills that need to be obtained in the industry. I like the optimism stated though! Found your article to be very interesting.

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