Back when I was a freshman I, like many others, was still undecided on my major. I’m sure we’ve all had different paths that brought us to PR, but I think it would be more important for those thinking about studying the field to fully understand what they’re getting into. In the Valley PR Blog, I came across an interesting post by Barry Kluger that I wish I had read years ago. I know it wouldn’t have changed my desicion to study PR, but it might have cleared up some confusion.
The post advised those who are interested in the field to dig up the truth of what PR practice demands of its practitioners because the public’s perception of the industry is completely skewed. Kluger wrote that those entering the field usually think it’s a good fit for them because they ‘like working with people’. If that’s your reasoning, you might want to reconsider becoming a PR practitioner because it’s much more than getting media attention for your client, Kruger said.
Some other advice from Kruger:
- Focus on crisis avoidance rather than crisis management
- It’s about positioning, not spin
- If an opportunity presents itself, don’t pass it up–but use ‘smart, sober thinking and not shoot from hip responses’
While reading the comments following up Kluger’s post, some mentioned that fact that those who go into PR without properly educating themselves about the field cause a huge lack or professionalism and credibility in the industry.
Knowing the aspects of the business is important, but what about those who stumble into a PR job? The fact that they are building on experience and learning as they go along doesn’t make them unprofessional, does it? Or is formal education one of the only ways to become credible in the field? Personally, I think having experience is what creates a professional and credible PR practitioner.