About to cross the Bridge…

Irina Hutu

Hello PR world! This is Irina and I am the first to start what will hopefully be a successful line of internships here at Bridge PR.

By Bridge PR I mean the nice cosy office and the lovely people inside that manage to stick to their busy schedules and meetings and still find some spare time to show you around, give you a taste of how the PR business works and how things should be done and even treat you with coffee (and cake on good days). So, as you can tell that’s obviously not the bridge I’m most anxious about. Nearly a graduate in Communication Culture and Media, stepping into the real world of business oriented practices from an academic, theoretical environment is not that smooth and easy, not even in a fairly practical field like Public Relations. But that’s what internships are for and with a bit of guidance and support, it’s certainly an achievable goal.

By now, you might have already guessed what this blog is all about. I will take you through my entire experience as an intern as I get more hands-on experience in PR practice. Given my most recent experiences I will inevitably do this from a critical perspective but putting practice against theory at times can come up with interesting and useful insights.

As a heads up from the start, I am mainly interested in the coming on board of the social media practices and its effects on the PR industry and that is a lot to talk and think about. But, as people say around here, we’ll cross this bridge when we get there.

First things first. Every aspiring practitioner should have a clear idea of what PR means and what they have chosen to be doing for a considerable part of their lives. Here is my personal take on Public Relations, adapted and abridged, now, in the first week in an actual PR agency.

  • In its early days, Public Relations was mainly associated with press agentry and mass manipulation. A lot has changed since then and PR has managed to rise as an ethical profession and a very powerful and effective tool, if used properly.
  • Public Relations is not Advertising. Ads mass promote a certain image which may help if granted a generous budget. On the other hand, PR is about building and managing an identity whilst communicating an image consistent with that identity to its audiences. It may not work wonders but I cannot fail and it will certainly not bankrupt you.
  • Many PR practitioners will have difficulties in defining exactly what PR is in a nutshell which obviously gave way to all sorts of labels. It seems however that the label of ‘engineering of consent’ PR got stuck with since Edward Bernays is coming to an end.
  • The new important element to consider is the integration of social media in PR practice. Whilst the Internet has made room for new media distribution channels that are increasingly becoming the main ones, social media promise to transform the very principles of PR.
  • Feedback is the key advantage companies get as targeted audiences can engage in conversation and actively participate in the building of a company’s identity.
  •  It’s an important moment in the history of PR that sets a lot of challenges for both practitioners and clients but also great opportunities. You can choose to see it as a more technological and scary change or as enabling a more direct and transparent relationship between companies and its audiences. The opportunity is definitely there to be seized.

Well, that’s just to give you a hint of what we‘d be dealing with. Having set an introduction I’ll keep coming back with exciting and interesting stories during my experience with Bridge. Fingers crossed and hope you’ll find it worth it taking the trip with me. To be continued…

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Posted on August 1, 2010, in "public relations", "digital media", "marketing", Bridge PR, Coventry PR, online PR, PR in Coventry, Social media marketing, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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