As the semester comes to a close, I find it fascinating to see how far I have come. I now have more knowledge on the job of public relations than I thought possible. When I look back to my first blog post for the class, it’s almost laughable to see how much I thought I knew about public relations. This was the first class I had ever taken that had anything to do with public relations, so I have learned a lot. When I created my first blog post everything I thought I knew about public relations was so generic and lacked any sustenance. Starting this class, I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Compare and Contrast

In my first blog post one of the topics I highlighted was that public relations is a field that is difficult to distinguish from other related fields. I viewed public relations as having the same goals as related fields such as advertising, marketing, and journalism. In reality, these fields may have very different goals and different ways of achieving them. More often than not public relations uses these other fields to achieve their goals. The goal of our campaign project was to enhance the internal and/or external perceptions of the history department. Throughout the semester I used a variety of techniques to try to achieve this. I discovered that it is about a lot more than just advertising or marketing for the department. It is about reaching down to the root cause of the problem and finding reasonable and achievable solutions.

I had been under the impression that public relations focus solely on building or maintaining a good relationship with the public. However, that is not the case. Public relations is about building trust, reliability, and honesty within both the external and internal parts of a company. In my original blog post I also focused on the fact that some people claim that public relation firms lie to consumers. Honestly, I feel like there are so many other things involved with working for a public relations firm that lying to the public can’t even be considered. Even though I was denying the fact that people claim public relations specialist lie, I wish I hadn’t focused so strongly on that topic because that its not a task of public relations firms.

Hard Work Pays Off

The first point in the class that I realized I knew what I was doing was the midterm. There were so many questions that the midterm could have covered about public relations that I sat down and tried to figure out what topics I could explain on my own. For me everything started to connect together. I felt more confident in my ability to succeed in the class. I also saw my grades for the blog posts rise each time I completed them. I quickly realized that a successful blog post would take preparation, an outline, and dedicated thinking. Finally, I saw everything I learned come together when I created my planbook for the history department. When it came to creating the planbook I realized that despite how much work it was, I could figure out what I was doing. Once I knew the purpose and definition of the objectives, strategies, and tactics I felt all of my hard work pay off. I saw the purpose of public relations firms. I have seen the insane amount of work, research, and creativity that goes into helping a client. I have also experienced what it is like to work with a client who doesn’t know where to begin and struggled to identify their own problem. While I am not a public relations major, I know that the skills I have learned in this class will be applicable to the health communication field and will be of great asset to me.

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