In public relations you are always focused on communicating a message, either directly or indirectly. Whether it’s a direct or indirect message, you present it in an appropriate, efficient and effective manner to your target audience.

Job duties and other functions of a PR professional are dependent upon the job type. PR professionals can focus in several different areas according to the type of organization or the level of the employee.

Public Relations between levels of an organization will often exist between a director and a specialist. A director of public relations or communications will manage all of an organization’s messages along with staff. The communications or PR director will likely be the middleman between executives and communication specialists. If needed, they will aid communicators in framing the organizations message.

Jobs are usually not the same among levels of an organization, but also within those levels. All communications and PR-related jobs have the same base work or basic purpose in an organization, but they will differ depending on what is needed or what department they are in. Various jobs can include community relations, health communications, crisis management, media relations and lobbying.

Community relations involves having a presence in the community. These jobs bring information and faces of the organizations into the community. They commonly aim at providing awareness through events. The events promote the image in a positive light, but the key message may have a charitable focus, such as raising money for a cancer cure.

Public relations professionals who may need to directly deal with the effects of cancer are health communicators. Health communicators are usually presenting messages internally and externally. Their audiences can include physicians, nurses, managers, administrators, patients, families and potential patients.

A function of health communicators may sometimes include crisis communication. In crisis communication, professionals will aim to release a message about bad news in the least damaging way possible while releasing the message as fast as they can. They deal with threats, either to the organization or to its stakeholders. They have to know what decision to make or what message to release. They must make it quickly enough to minimize any damage.

A crisis communicator may hire or may be a media relations specialist. A media relations specialist deals with media on behalf of a company. They moderate the conversation between the company who employs them and any relevant TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, online content managers and magazine editors. This job may consist of constant emails, phone calls or in-person meetings with the media.

Lobbying consists of skills similar to all of the above PR professionals, but usually never makes the PR job list. PR professionals have all the same skills as lobbyists and can easily be very successful. Lobbying consists of being the middleman of communication between an organization, the media and legislators. The goal of a lobbyist is to influence a legislator’s vote on a pending legislation. In order to be effective, researching content and being persuasive are necessary attributes.

Public Relations degrees can qualify you for a gamut of jobs. Don’t let the lack of “PR” in a job title deter you from applying if you think you might be qualified. There are many different specialties, so find the one that is right for you.


   

For many, the Fourth of July is a holiday to relax and unwind, but for public relations folks, it is an opportunity to accomplish something. For some organizations it is a prime date to get out a message to your audience. The Fourth of July requires weeks of preparation for many companies, especially their public relations departments.

There are two main types of Fourth of July PR: public service announcements and sponsorships. A company may aim to get out a message that encourages purchase of its product or build its reputation as a company that cares about its customers. Additionally, it may reach its audience with a sponsorship that brings an experience to the people.

When it comes to reputation many companies may try to improve their images or feature an agenda on the Fourth of July. Fireworks accidents, travel safety, boating safety, pet safety, sun safety, following the law and food safety are common topics for related companies to address on this holiday. For fireworks accidents, the conversation is often started by fireworks distributors and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Something like sun safety is facilitated by the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunscreen brands and hospitals.

Companies will also use the Fourth of July to promote their brands. In most of these cases the company sponsors a related event or donates money based on the customer’s involvement. Some examples of event sponsors are Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest, Macy’s New York City fireworks display, Coca-Cola’s Atlanta fireworks celebration, TOMS’ “Red, White and Bold Bash,” and Disney’s week of festival in both parks. Other companies like Kraft and Epicurious prompt their audience to use their recipes to make the summer holiday special. If companies aren’t presenting events or content, then they may be asking for customer participation. Pepsi and Budweiser encourage their customers to buy a specially marked bottle to help the company donate money to charity.

The Fourth of July is an opportune holiday for a gamut of organizations and causes to facilitate their messages or promotions. Chances are your local festival or fireworks display has a sponsor or sponsors, so check them out. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

   

Public relations is a significant department in any company, yet some CEOs and other workers never appreciate or understand its necessity and power within an organization. Another reason PR doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves is because it is confused with other specialties and departments. People often confuse PR with marketing, advertising, promotion, or production.

Successful CEOs, business owners and other prosperous people understand the importance of having PR specialists. This is what they have said: 

“If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.”

– Bill Gates, Chairman of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft


“Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some hire public relations officers.”

– Daniel J. Boorstin, Historian, professor, attorney and writer


“Advertising is saying you’re good. PR is getting someone else to say you’re good.”

– Jean-Louis Gassée, Founder of BeOS


“Public relations are a key component of any operation in this day of instant communications and rightly inquisitive citizens.”

– Alvin Adams, Diplomat


“Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.”

– Richard Branson, Founder at Virgin Group  


“Public-relations specialists make flower arrangements of the facts, placing them so the wilted and less attractive petals are hidden by sturdy blooms.”

– Alan Harrington, Novelist

Public Relations is not always recognized by its name, but the concept is sometimes understood and appreciated by its functions:

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power.”

– Malcolm X, Human rights activist


"Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality."

– Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek writer


“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.”

– Warren Buffet, Investor


“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and this is not being talked about.”

-Oscar Wilde, Novelist, poet and playwright

           Every company can benefit from public relations. PR has many functions, some of which overlap with other jobs. You can differentiate PR by remembering this:

“If a young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is – that’s advertising. If the young man tells his date she’s intelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he’s saying the right things to the right person and that’s marketing. If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is – that’s PR.”

– S. H. Simmons, Author

   

Where can we draw the line on our right to privacy? Can our right to privacy simply mean our right to be free of governmental intrusion? Or is it something we need to be willing to give up for national security? Maybe our privacy extends to being free from photos and videos of us being released to the public? With the relatively recent advancements in technology and the evolution toward everyone’s online presence, privacy is an issue now more than ever.

We are not explicitly granted the right to privacy in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. However, the Fourth Amendment of the people’s right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures…” is often interpreted to encompass a person’s right to privacy.

The right to privacy had not been interpreted until 176 years after the signing of the Constitution and 174 years after the Bill or Rights was ratified. The first instance of interpretation that set a precedent for following cases was Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). In this case, Justice William Douglas decided the Bill of Rights implies that a family has the right to privacy concerning intimate details.

Holding back the right to privacy is the First Amendment. The First Amendment ensures us the Freedom of Speech and the Freedom of the Press. These freedoms allow Americans to state something without getting in trouble because the subject is either newsworthy or the public has a right to know. These concepts can be nearly impossible to overcome in that there are several strong defenses against libel, especially for public figures.

The following are suggestions for protecting your privacy.

  1. Avoid submitting personal information on potentially untrustworthy websites.
  2. Keep personal and private information off your social media accounts.
  3. Do not send personal emails on an unsecure networks.
  4. Check for a green lock to the left of the URL when shopping online.
  5. Use strong passwords. Phrases are easy to remember and harder to guess.
  6. Don’t fill in your entire social media profile.
  7. Set up a google alert for your name.
  8. Use cash at unknown stores or street vendors.
  9. Be specific with the answers to your security questions.


   

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