Being new to the world of Public Relations I have noticed many assumptions about the industry and its practitioners which don’t add up.
One is the ‘PR girl’ stereotype. This stereotype is seen in a lot in fiction. For example; Sex in the Cities’ Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) and her lavish life in the PR world. Her job is obviously exaggerated for good viewing purposes and assists Samantha’s super outgoing character. Some practitioners may lead glamourous lifestyles and the job does have perks, they do not live and work exactly like a fictional character.
This leads onto another assumption; PR is a career for females. The statistics prove that the gender ratio is uneven. It isn’t a single sex profession, plenty of men work in it too.
PR people are the masters of spin where they distort the truth (primarily sourced from perspectives of journalists). In reality, PR looks for good news and journalism seeks out bad news. PR is used as the ‘middleman’ forging relationships for the organisations with its publics. They merely steer the narrative to suit their organisation’s needs. This doesn’t mean all PR practitioners are squeaky clean in their actions. No profession is without its faults. Hiding the truth in PR deliberate can have massive repercussions.
PR is propaganda. If this was the case, then PR would be a deliberate attempt to influence people whom have no choice but to accept information that is based on bullying and fear.
PR is about conversations, forging relationships and safeguarding the person organisation by being the ‘middleman’ to their/its publics. Both men and women work in the industry in reality, and as glamourous as Samantha Jones’ work life may seem it’s a TV show. Samantha Jones isn’t real.