3 Reasons to be PRoud
Updated: May 6, 2020
When you were younger, I hope you had the same level of support that I had when I said I wanted to be a figure skater, a doctor or even the first female president. My parents responded with the ever-so-popular, “You can be whatever you want to be.” While we do have the ability to decide what career path we take, I am not sure that being whatever we want to be is necessarily an option. I don’t make this claim to be negative, but rather because I am positive that each and every one of us are instilled with certain skills and characteristics that will make some better doctors than others. Being whatever we want to be seems possible, but consider these two situations:
Some people start college excited to study one subject, and then realize that subject isn’t something they enjoy. They then end up changing their major to something they never would have thought about studying.
Others graduate and begin their career in the field they studied only to realize they spent the fortune of college tuition to be in a role they dread going to every day.
Instead of thinking, we can be whatever we want, perhaps we should look at it from a different point of view; Yes, we have the ability to be whatever we want, as long as our skills and characteristics allow it.
I am so thankful I had parents who supported me through every phase of dressing up as a doctor, figure skater, or pop star for career day, and I hope to encourage my future children in the same way. But there are three reasons why I am thankful that I am filling out applications for jobs in the PR field and not the medical field:
1. PR has taught me to be versatile.
Public relations majors are trained to be competent in many areas of communication. Whether the method is writing, traditional communication or even social media, PR majors have been trained to use the best channel of communication for the message he or she is trying to send. Throughout my job search, it is uncommon to read a job description for a public relations position that contains one area of communication. For instance, my future job will most likely be filled with writing press releases, content for social media, some media relations and maybe even employee relations.
I appreciate the versatility that comes with PR, mainly because every day will look different and being flexible is essential in an unpredictable world.
2. PR has taught me the importance of planning.
What most don’t understand is that at the heart of PR is planning. Being a public relations professional is all about being prepared to the highest degree as possible because we are the people who are supposed to strategize and know what the next step is before it even happens.
While some situations don’t always pan out the way we hoped, planning for a crisis and putting together a social media or content calendar has proven to be an essential duty of a PR practitioner. This is mainly because flexibility comes with the territory of public relations; unexpected events can throw us off our game and written plans are easier to change or stick to, rather than simply making up plans as we go.
3. PR has contributed to my love for people.
I have always loved people, and being shy was never really something I had to deal with. It made sense to study PR, but I soon realized that communication wasn’t just talking to people; communication is truly listening to what someone else has to say and responding in an appropriate and meaningful way. When I began to study public relations, I found that true communication at its best is mutually beneficial. In my future job, I want to use PR as a tool to show my love for people and give a voice to content that otherwise might be lifeless.
As a senior graduating in less than a month, I am nervous to go out into the professional world. But knowing that a career in the public relations field is in my future makes it much more exciting. I get to use the skills that I learned and the characteristics I was born with to be versatile, plan accordingly and show my love for people through an essential profession in an uncertain world.
Blakelee Steeb is a senior majoring in public relations. She is an account manager for Fifth Street and the President of PRSSA for the Anderson chapter. She plays on the softball team and works for the Sports Information Office on Campus.