Is Public Relations Overrated?

Today, I read on prdaily.com that public relations has been ranked as the seventh most overrated career for 2012.

Let’s examine why:

  • It’s highly stressful because of the constant demands of the media, clients, and audiences
  • Ranked number 15 on most common college degrees according to payscale.com
  • The pool of job candidates is increasing rapidly

These statements simply do not mean anything to me. Why? Because I study public relations because I am high-strung, over-worked, and can manage immense amounts of stress. What else? As stated in one of my earlier posts, I love everything PR. I love the hustle and bustle, the deadlines, networking, and most importantly I enjoy writing.

In my opinion there are two types of people who join the public relations field. There are the people who are extremely dedicated to their work and are going to rise to the top. The latter group is simply those who are in it for the perceived “glamorous” lifestyle that really isn’t anything close to Sex and the City.

As a college student, I can pick out which students are serious and the ones who will get it together once they graduate. I’m not saying they can’t handle the industry, it’s that they will realize that they should have found the experience they needed while they had the chance. I believe the thing that is going to set those two groups apart are the ones who are “in it to win it” and have the resume to back it up.

I have been keeping contact with professionals who are in my field or have experience with HR. They say that employers are looking for students who can manage their time, show that they can juggle different activities, and demonstrate expertise and possess good grades. Those students, with the sparkling resumes and strong skill sets, are the ones who will make it to the top.

So, what does this mean? It’s really up to you if you want to dedicate your life to the public relations industry. It takes a special kind of person who can handle loads of stress and still enjoy it. I know what you’re thinking, who enjoys stress? Well it gets to a point where someone like me, needs a little stress to function. I need to know I have three different deadlines in order to continue to be productive in my life.

Before you even think that public relations is overrated, think about the people who were given the talents to pursue this career. Unless you have been in the industry, you may not fully understand what it takes. Someone who lives and breathes PR has the integrity, motivation, and overall passion for this industry. If a PR graduate wants a career bad enough, they will go for it and they will find it. Public relations is about doing what you love and making those opportunities happen for yourself.

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My Relationship with Social Media: Let’s Get Real.

“Consider this: 24% of respondents to one survey said they’ve missed out on enjoying special moments in person because — ironically enough — they were too busy trying to document their experiences for online sharing.” -Sam Laird, mashable.com

Face it, social media consumes the life Generation Y. It’s what young people like me live, breathe, and consume. Tweets, follows, check ins, and pins. And it’s having a huge impact on their quality of life.

My relationship with social media is like being in a real relationship. Gasp! Fortunately, this relationship does have an “off button.”

Social media and I started dating back in the eleventh grade, when I first learned about it’s beautiful face. It’s face (Facebook) was so attractive, it allowed me to connect with other people we had mutual friends with. I could keep in touch with friends I went to school with, especially those who graduated. Eventually, I used it to meet future friends in college and make those connections. But guess what, I became so consumed that it almost became an obsessions. Status, photos, likes, posts, and beyond.

College came around and social media and I were tight with Facebook. Eventually I became a public relations major and became deeper involved with this relationship. First came Stumble Upon, then Tumblr, followed by Pinterest and Twitter. My relationship became multi-faceted and I was keeping up with every single part of it.

My relationship got real when I received my first iPhone from my (real) boyfriend. This is where my relationship with social media got spicy. The constant stream of tweets and pins evolved into a tangible relationship with social media that kept me wired in 24/7. Sounds pretty unhealthy, right?

Currently, I am going four years with this relationship with social media. It has evolved into something that is a prominent tool in my life as well as something that could affect my future. And I’m not alone. Employers are going to look for candidates who are social media and know how to use it. I agree that applicants should know how to use social media, but I do believe that a line should be drawn of when it and how it should be used.

My relationship with social media has allowed me to learn about public relations and how companies are using it to build relationships with their audiences. I have made connections with people in my field and with companies that I would like to work for someday. This is all great, but when it comes down to it, when we become consumed by these virtual relationships, we forget about the ones that are right in front of us.

It is so easy for me to be wrapped up with my social media relationship and forget about my real-life relationships. There have been times when I hang out with a group of friends and we’re all on our phones checking Facebook, texting, or tweeting. What has the meaning of a real relationship come to?

This is why my relationship with social media has become such a love/hate relationship. I see the value of it completely, but when it comes to the bottom of it, social media is only a tool. Life is happening in front of us everyday. When we block the physical relationships that are in our lives, we are missing out on one of the most beautiful experiences life can offer.

What am I doing to maintain a healthy relationship with social media?

  • When I’m with my friends, I shut it off, put it away.
  • Meetings, class, events – the phone is put away.
  • Refraining from updates like “I ate yogurt for breakfast and fed my dog.”
  • Knowing when it’s time to turn the phone off and tune out from social media.
  • If I have great news, I share it with the people who matter, face-to-face or by phone call.

Luckily, we can turn off social media. We can turn it off and tune in to the real world. This is what I love most about social media. I can use it to build my professional career but I can put it away and go back to square one. Social media is important, but not the most important thing. It’s time to remember where the real value of communication and relationship building is.

How do you feel about your relationship with social media? Does it consume your life or have you found a balance between it and your personal life?

 

 

Why I Love What I Do

Last night was my second PRSSA PRBQ. This is an event that kicks of the school year with PRSSA. Hotdogs, root beer, good friends, and great memories are all a part of this welcome back event.

Attending this was another reminder of why I chose public relations as a career. The people and the relationships are all part of why I love being a part of this organization and preparing for my career as a public relations professional. It’s not about going because it’s required, it’s going because of the love of being around people who have the same interests and have similar goals. It’s a good feeling that I cannot find any where else but within my PRSSA community.

This is my second year as a public relations major and I have loved every second of it. Going into college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I thought I’d like to go into business, but I had no idea what that entailed. After a while, I did an inventory of what I enjoy: writing, event-planning, meeting new people, and letting my creative juices run wild. Switching majors and schools, what one of the best decisions I have made for my future.

I love public relations because of the variety of work you can do. I enjoy writing and planning events the most. I also like to learn about new social media platforms and how to use them. Most of all, I like staying up to date on current issues and world events. Public relations allows me to combine all of these passions into one. Therefore, what do I love? I love my major.

The people are also great. When you meet someone who is in the public relations industry, their energy rubs off on you. I always get excited when I meet a professional or a graduate who is living the career of their dreams. I love hearing the stories that people have and their experiences. The best part is being able to bounce that energy off of one another.

I know that when I graduate college, I am going to find something that I love. Even if I don’t, I will make the most of experience I have. Public relations allows me to wake up every day and think, “I love what I do.”

So what are you passionate about? Have you found the path that you want to take? Or are you still searching for something that drives you to be the best possible you?