The mystery of PR

I can’t recall how many times I’ve been asked “what is public relations”, or asked to describe my degree or what that means I’ll be doing after I graduate. For me it’s pretty simple what it means and where I’ll be heading in the future, but perhaps only because my Mum works in PR and I had the privilege to follow in her footsteps.           

It was while reading an opinion article by Jessica Pardoe, the digital PR executive for Tecmark, on PR Week that I started to think back about my first introduction in the industry. I can only remember asking my Mum what her job was, and thinking that it sounded pretty interesting.

I was fortunate enough to have my Mum work in the industry before me, so I was already aware of what Public Relations was and why I wanted to study it. My mum herself stumbled upon PR when she was informed the initial course she wanted to take alongside criminology wasn’t feasible so she had to quickly choose another. But what about everybody else? Jessica says there were 30 people on her course, but there are only around 12 on mine – and that was after we had 3 leave. I remember one girl leaving the course, because it wasn’t what she thought it would be – I wish I’d had the chance to ask her what exactly she did think it would be.

The case that Jessica puts forward in her opinion article, is that PR should be more focused on within schools before people hit University. If I mention Marketing or Advertising, people know straight away what I’m referring to. So why can’t PR be held to the same standards while at school and students are learning about business studies. What it all boils down to, is the bad reputation of PR – which is a different matter altogether.

I wanted to make my case today for more availibility for young students to learn about PR while still at school. I’d love for this industry to become more popular among prospective students and for the course at University to become more popular. I believe that it holds so many important skills for future life, and can still lead into journalism, marketing, and anything else business related.

From my first year doing the course I have picked up practical skills from learning how to shoot and edit videos, and take good quality photographs. My writing skills have heavily improved, as have my confidence levels and ability to speak and present myself accordingly. It’s a great way to learn about how the world works and about an industry that’s relatively behind the scenes.

More importantly, it seems to be having less people apply and much smaller classes at University, than say journalism. And it’s curious to see why people chose this degree at all, other than applying because of a family member or because they thought that maybe it sounded interesting.

If you study PR, what made you choose to study this degree?

– Personally, Emma

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