PR Reflection

I think my views about public relations have really changed since starting this class. Being an AdPR major, I thought I already had a good understanding of the topic. But, I’ve realized that I only really understood PR in relations to advertising or marketing, and not as its own platform.This was actually the first full on PR class I’ve taken. before this class PR was simply an enemy in journalism classes, and a sidekick in advertising. It was never really the main issue, but always one I was interested in.  Having to do research and create unique ways of presenting the information myself through blogs really helped me understand the facets of PR, and why writing blogs is helpful in this field.

When looking at my starting blog posts, you can tell I wasn’t very enthused. Some of them where done last minuet. Others not at all. But, the first time I really go into a blog piece was when we had to write the blog on a PR crisis. I chose the Rolling Stone UVA scandal, and kind of fell in love with the process of writing it. I was able to see the project from a different lens, and it really showed me how applicable public relations can be from other facets of life. I was able to take a well known story and show that while the media were the ones who messed it up, it was the failings of PR intervention that made it a full on crisis that took several months, lawyers, and lawsuits to fix.

Since then I tried to make my posts more like something I would want to read instead of something I dread writing, and I think it helped me make great strides in understanding PR. I wrote about stickers and used the lyrics of a song I liked to guide me. That’s the great thing about PR: it’s about framing a situation. Understanding this let me frame the blogs the way I wanted to. But as I learned it’s mainly about one thing. The one word that causes a hush and dread to fall over the conference room: its all about the client. (gasp) But,before you focus on the client, you have to be confident in your own abilities. Once your confident, you have to work your butt off to get the client to actually want to work with you.

Going on from this, I’m not completely d sure if I would be ideal to work with a client just yet (though internships are always welcomed. There where things I could have done better in. I am guilty of not opening the book some days and merely cracking it open others. I fell victim to the ever so present black hole of procrastination, but always (usually) got there in the end.

My biggest take away is that I know that I can do work and make it into something I enjoy. While this admittedly isn’t my best blog post ever because finals are currently crushing me, I know that in the future I will use the knowledge that I gained through this experience to make the most shared article on Facebook ever. That’s the dream, isn’t it? Not really. But having an idea that goes on to be shared and utilized in any capacity is what I think makes public relations so cool.It allows you to be creative in a way that other careers simply don’t.

Overall though, this class taught me how to work in a group and use the findings to do your own thing. It taught me to stay on top of my own work. It taught me how to deal with difficult people, how to organize my time, and how to stay on task. Most of all though, I think it really instilled in myself that this is the major I want to be in, despite I really have no idea where in PR I want to end up. (But hey, baby steps).

I like PR. I like creating new ideas and figuring out how they can be implemented in a way that helps someone revamp or change themselves. I like the idea of selling a persona instead of actually selling an item. I like the different paths it can allow me to take. I like doing research and figuring out key components of where something went wrong and how to right that. I like it, and I think with some more experience I could be really good at it.

Moving forward, I know I will have to take harder and harder classes that may make me feel like this isn’t a good fit for me. But, one of my favorite sayings is “Working hard for something you don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something you do care about is called passion.” I think I found a passion here.

Don’t Give Up: ROI in PR

“You Only Get What You Give” is a 1990’s pop rock classic that probably just sounds like a load of positive gibberish to most listeners, but I think the New Radicals were on to something. When it comes to most things in life, people tend to like to believe they get back what they put in. That’s why karma, motivational cat posters, and cliché sayings about work and reward exist. But, while this may just seem like a motivational tactic, the return given on anything-from a big project to buying a client lunch- is huge in any business, especially the public relations field. So, put on your headphones and let the New Radicals guide you into understanding the importance of return in investment.

Wake up kids. We’ve got the dreamer’s disease

First off, someone must understand how PR professionals use return on investment. But, this can be hard when sometimes professionals even have a hard time talking about it. The technical definition is “Return on investment (ROI) is a financial ratio intended to measure the benefit obtained from an investment. Time is usually of the essence in this measurement because it takes time for an investment to realize a benefit “(Retrun on Investment, 2007). It basically means that the bigger the dream is the more you should get back on it. For example, if you have a huge campaign in several states it should get more notice and reward than one that is only on a university campus. But this also includes the time and amount of people a firm spends on a project. It basically means the bigger a d But, it is hard to track in PR because so much of the field is turning to social media and more digital platforms.

We’re flat broke but hey we do it in style

Now, this may seem like ROI is more of a way of thought than an actual entity, but there is an actual calculation to find a company’s return rate, and it greatly influences the way in which they are able to do business. However, this measuring is different in PR. Often times budget money that could be going towards a working PR campaign doesn’t because company’s think a Tweet now does the same job that an entire campaign did a decade ago. But, social media has even expanded beyond this idea “As social media platforms have matured and their user bases have grown, the value they are placing on advertising through their platforms has increased as well. They have great products with large audiences, featuring key demographics. Their goals, no matter how altruistic on the surface, now include maximizing revenue ”(Coll, 2016). So, obviously social media is not free. This is hard because PR is often now thought of as an integrated media campaign or an event, which is hard to measure the success rate of because it does not follow an equation. In PR the goals and measurements must be set before the actual workings take place in order to be able to track them accurately. But, this usually doesn’t happen. Shonali Burke, the president and CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.  was interviewed about her thought in measurement and PR and said “that her biggest challenge in measuring the ROI on PR is that some companies sometimes think of measurement as an afterthought. Her advice is to bring it front and center. In fact, she doesn’t sign contracts until she and her client have agreed on the measurement goals they’re working towards” (Borchers,  2014).

No one with a brain is believing

Essentially, PR an ROI have a relationship that is still being written. Obviously companies and brands are going to want to work with professionals who they know can get their company back what they put into it. But, because public relations is a field that is constantly changing the way in which payback is measured also changes, and it is highly based on what an individual company wants. The New Radicals are in a way right saying you only get what you give, but you also usually only get what you aim for. While public relations is business, it is not like a traditional business in which it is easy to track and see outcomes. For this reason, the return on investment is not easily defined, even for those who have been in the business for a long time.




Borchers, M (2014, March 26) Measuring the ROI of public relations: Five experts weigh in. Huffpost Business. Retrieved from

Coll, J (2016, April 2) Algorithms and the end of ‘free’ social media. Hattiesburg American. Retrieved from

New Radicals (1998) You Get What You Give on Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too [CD] MCA Records

Return on Investment (ROI). (2007). In Encyclopedia of Small Business (3rd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 964-965). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from