“Public relations as a business is the art of cleaning up after or exploiting someone else’s mess for profit or gain (financial or otherwise).”
On a more serious note, I believe that public relations is simply the field of manipulative, strategic communication(s). As I sit here, listening to an old song I rediscovered on my old tumblr blog (circa 2011), I wonder what to type. What do I believe now about public relations? The study of it? The execution? What will I believe one week, one semester from now? What do I write here?
I’ve always seemed to solely experience PR in times of crisis. Microsoft drops the bomb on their next-gen console and pushes away a segment of their target market; Sony capitalizes on this by bringing that segment to their side with some clever statements and snide remarks. That’s PR. Someone hacks Target’s systems and steals crazy confidential credit card information. Target apologizes and rushes to recover; that’s PR. Some redneck from A&E spills the beans on his anti-marriage equality stance, and suddenly the network is scrambling to undo the “damage.” That’s PR. Two planes destroy the Twin Towers in NYC, and President Bush comes on the screen, telling me that we must declare war on terror… That’s PR.
Obviously, if I take the time to actually sit and ponder upon it, I would realize what PR actually is. Reactive press conferences just barely scratch the surface of the depths of what public relations truly is (are?). Promotional events: advertising, yes, but public relations more so. Then again, advertising and public relations must work hand-in-hand to achieve their common goal. So many of the communications between provider and consumer are the brainchild of an expert public relations team. It is often the advertising creatives that must put the concept to visuals and spread the word.
This semester I hope to expand upon my understanding of the field of public relations and the culture of the industry through both my classes and personal research. As an advertising major, it could do me a world of good to absorb the knowledge like a sponge.
The song, if anyone is curious, is Hiding Out by Sucré.