By Sophia Harris
Ever since I was younger, I have always heard the words “Oh, I’m a PR major,” or “I want to go into PR.”
But those words were always followed with some questions. What exactly is PR? What is the purpose of PR? How is it different from marketing and advertising?
As you can imagine, these are important questions when you’re trying to figure out a career.
To be completely transparent, I was under the impression that public relations was just about publicity — something that only celebrities or well-known companies needed to help increase and manage positive or negative attention. I have always imagined running a celebrities social media page, writing press releases for companies, or constantly keeping track of the type of attention someone is getting from the public.
It took me until about sophomore year to start looking into the advertising and PR world. After I started taking classes, researching, and watching more videos about PR, I discovered that (1) it is not what people make it out to be, and (2) there are many different aspects that go into the job.
Now, being a student and working as an intern has allowed me to finally discover that PR has a much broader purpose than just helping a celebrity with social media.
So, what have I learned? Public relations is the management of information that is released to the public for promotion or to influence an opinion. PR teams work to create and maintain a consistent image for a person or company. Aside from management, PR teams also focus on writing, promoting, researching, marketing, and so many more things to properly represent their client.
Working with Devine + Partners has given me the opportunity to experience the public relations world behind the scenes. Before starting my internship program with D+P, I only saw the PR world from an outside perspective. Devine + Partners has showed me that PR is about maintaining a genuine, consistent, and beneficial brand image to portray to the public.
I have been lucky enough to learn about the various clients that have partnered with D+P. There is no consistent or common similarity between all the clients, which has allowed me to learn more about each partnership. During my time here, I have had the opportunity to assist with writing press releases, sit in on client meetings, and even attend in-person events.
There’s something else that’s important from a societal standpoint that has impacted the public relations industry. With the increase of social media usage in today’s world, it has become extremely easy for information to spread quickly and eventually become misconstrued. On the other hand, it has also become easier to promote events, reach larger audiences, and communicate with others. PR teams are trained to manage both types of publicity in a way that stays true to the character or image their client has developed over time.
With my experience, I have gathered that public relation teams work to monitor and gather information that pertains to each client. The teams will then use the information gathered to properly target and reach the correct audience while maintaining that important brand image. Without PR, companies would lose a crucial part of their ability to maintain a strong brand representation.
Rising Stars is a series of thoughts, reflections and perspectives by the interns at Devine + Partners. Sophia Harris is a senior at Temple University, studying advertising and concentrating in copywriting.