Why public relations bothers me…occasionally

Why public relations bothers me…occasionally

Drafting this blog post is probably a bit of a shot in the foot since I  created this blog to expand my academic and professional writing skills in the field of public relations…but once it became apparent to me that neither my writing nor blogging was flourishing, I had to re-examine things. I had to be a bit more honest with myself and with my writing.

For starters, I can’t write about things I don’t believe in or don’t care about. I genuinely struggle when assigned something I have complete contempt or disregard for. This doesn’t often happen because I’m some what of a nerd in the way that I find interest in most papers and reports I have to write. But when it comes to this blog, writing solely to help my professional life became…wrong. I never wrote for others. Not since I began writing exuberant stories as a kid. I always did it because I wanted to. Telling myself that I need to blog a certain way just to help my professional life, because someone else told me it would make me look like more of a potential candidate for job positions, I can’t agree with.

Yes, in the field of public relations showcasing your writing is important. But you should showcase what you’re proud of writing. I’m not proud of writing topics I feel forced to write, or withholding myself from writing things I shouldn’t. My third blog post on this blog blatantly demonstrates my inability to remain unbiased. Because I’m not. I have opinions, beliefs and topics I write about because they move me. My writing block for the past couple months has only made me question why I started this blog and if I continued it, the approach I should take.

There are parts of PR that really bother me. There, I said it. I’ll add as a discretionary measure that maybe this list can apply to many professional fields and not just public relations. But this is how I see it.

1) People pleasing. The amount of sucking up some of my peers do to professors, professionals, and people in positions they want makes me cringe. There is a vast difference between being a genuine nice person and showing people the real you, and just being so ridiculously agreeable and overly charming that people can see through you. I get that this field is about getting the public to see your company/organization/person favorably but maybe the whole reason PR has the reputation it does (deceiving, manipulative, etc) is probably because the public can see how transparently fake some are.

2) Online image. We had a guest speaker at one of our PRSSA meetings who outwardly asked us if we weren’t using Twitter to better ourselves professionally, why did we even have one? Well ma’am, I like posting quotes and witty comments and pictures with friends. Is that really so wrong? I understand this is the generation of over sharing on the internet but having to change all our social media to professional orient ourselves into the next job just seems…horrifically boring. Everyone becomes a replica of the next posting about the newest PR meetings, or tips, or tricks, or whatever else. Why do we have to be so focused on the next career move? I’m sorry, but there’s so much more to my life than my job.

3) Writing. I can’t write about PR. I can’t. I have so much more to say. My passion for writing will never become evident in talking about how I did at an interview or the best internship I had. I mean, maybe? But I’m tired of limiting myself. If I’m going to blog, I’ll blog about what I choose to.

The quote today speaks volumes to the direction my blog will go from this point forward:

“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”

– John Jakes

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