Public relations is defined as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public” (lecture, Rupprecht). This is an extremely important position in a company and as the world evolves, it has to evolve with it. The digital age has added many new tasks and created new jobs within the public relations area. I had knowledge of many of the skills needed to be successful in this field, but was also surprised by some. The transformations of the digital world led to changes in journalism and in turn, effected PR and advertising.
When public relations started out, they depended on third party endorsements only who were not affiliated with an organization. This meant that the only communication with the public was through traditional media. This gave the company much less control over the content that consumers received. In modern times, there are many more channels where a message could be shared. Social media is the primary example. Most companies have accounts on some, if not all, social media sites. Having a presence in this digital world that revolves around Instagram and Facebook is essential. It allows for companies to send a very purposeful and thought out message to the public each time they post. The media is no longer the only source of information for the public. The majority of companies also have their own websites where information is stored. These developments in PR opened up new jobs like graphic designer and social media coordinator. I didn’t realize how many roles had to be played in this department. Public relations professionals definitely have a lot on their plate.
Another aspect of public relations that surprised me had to do with the amount of thought and detail involved. When Kathy Bronieki spoke to our class, she talked about the PESO model and native advertising. This type of advertising attempts to conform to the designs of the websites where the preside. I think that some are against the use of native ads because it is sometimes unclear if the content is an ad or if it’s involved with whatever type of media its placed in. As long as these are labeled as “sponsored” or “promoted” I think that they are an effective way to advertise. Advertisements on social media that look like tweets or other posts but are actually sponsored, tend to get on my nerves. I think that my generation skips through these or exits out of them the majority of the time.
Advertising and public relations are major categories within a company and have to be detail oriented and great with people. A lot rides on the PR professionals getting the companies message out to the public in a positive way. Advertisements have also changed with the digital world. The attention economy shows that consumers have a small attention span and therefore, don’t pay much attention to a lot of ads. These changes all have to be taken into account when launching a PR campaign or designing and placing an advertisement.