The concept of public relations is nothing new. Public relations professionals have been around for a very long time and while much of what they did then is the same now, a lot of what those in public relations do has changed and developed over time. For starters, I would say there are more ethics involved in public relations that are more prominent and engrained in more agencies than ever before. Another thing that goes along with the incorporation of ethics that is different now is the reputation that public relations professionals have. In the past, PR professionals were seen as people who would lie for their clients or “spin” things and “cover” things up to put a bandaid on the damages. Also, because early PR had to rely a lot on third party endorsements, they did not have a lot of control over the message that went to the public.
They didn’t always have social media or the ability to create “buzz” or share things in blogs or websites, for the majority, these are all relatively new developments that have broadened the horizons for those in the public relations industry. Fast forward to the present and many PR agencies are very passionate about being upfront with the public and having their clients admit to their mistakes or faults in order to do damage control. There is high value in being honest and transparent with people and public relations agencies know the importance of this because in a time of “fake news”, and rumors that spread like wildfire, people want the truth and if they find out they didn’t get it then all trust that people had for that client or company is gone. Public relations agencies work with blogs, websites, native advertising, and much more now than they ever have before.
In public relations today I think transparency is extremely important as well as the connections and trust you have with clients and the public. To have both the knowledge and skills to work with people, know how to communicate with others clearly, and maintain healthy relationships with all of your connections are all crucial in working in public relations today. Public relations professionals also plan, coordinate, and execute events for clientswhich is something I am personally interested in doing someday. Much of what one does in public relations revolves around the PESO model. Personally, I had no previous knowledge of what this was until this year. This model makes up much of PR because it is how PR and media work together. This model is new because these kinds of media have not been around for very long either.
For the most part, this is exactly what I thought public relations was, although there are also many things about public relations I did not know. For instance, I did not realize that public relations and advertising were so closely linked. I was under the impression that PR was very different from advertising, or even marketing.