How to Become a Certifiable Know-it-all

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One thing I’ve noticed since starting college, and really just life in general, is that there are some people who think they know everything. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some people who do know a lot of stuff about a lot of things (more on this later), but that’s not who I’m talking about. I think you know who I’m talking about. That person in your class that won’t shut up about the latest and greatest of something he clearly knows nothing about. Those people are, in my opinion, the worst. However, if these people did just a little bit of research, to have just the slightest bit of knowledge to back up their latest spiel, they would become significantly less annoying.

Now, hearing someone spew nonsense on a bus, or in a class is one thing. Having to listen to it in a professional environment, or worse, a business meeting might be worse, for their reputation as well as your own sanity. This is why research, especially in PR is so freaking important.

“Public relations is an art and a science focused on finding the best strategies and tactics to accomplish a client’s objectives. This knowledge comes from a mix of experience, an understanding of the media and the client and quality research” (Mitchell Communications Group, 2013). There are three different levels to research, basic, intermediate, and advanced. Basic research is simple stuff that you do every day, such as monitoring social media, reading the clients websites, or looking up facts. People often do basic research without even realizing it.  Intermediate is a little more in depth, and includes collecting and analyzing data and media. The most complex type of research is advanced. Advanced research includes analyzing competitors, doing statistical analyses or ROIs (Mitchell Communications Group, 2013).

One key part of Public Relations is reputation management, “this focuses on the image or reputation of the client organization, as measured by its popularity or value as a supplier, buyer, partner, employer, lender, citizen or investment” (Hutton, 1999). Managing someone else’s reputation is going to be really hard if you can’t even keep your own reputation under control. Along with this, managing other people is going to require a lot of research, that’s right, research (it’s everywhere I know). In order to manage a person or company’s reputation, you’ll want to know everything there is to know about them, their competitors, and anything going on in the field that they’re in. This is going to require a lot of research to make sure you know what you’re talking about when you speak to, or about them.

Now getting back to the people I was talking about earlier, you know, the ones who never shut up. They’d actually be really good at PR, if they’d just do some research (it’s everywhere!!). “Good PR is the telling of a good story. The better the story, the better the acceptance by the public and the better the public relations” (Lautenslager, 2003). These types of people clearly love to talk and love to tell a story, so just imagine how successful they’d be if they spent a couple hours researching whatever it is they won’t shut up about. Then, they’d actually be a know-it-all, they wouldn’t just have to act like one.

 

Hutton, J. G. (1999). The definition, dimensions, and domain of public relations. Public Relations Review,25(2), 199-214. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0363811199801623?via%3Dihub

Lautenslager, A. (2003, November 17). Why You Need PR. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/65672

Mitchell Communications Group (2013, March 19). Public Relations: The Value and Importance of Research. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from http://blog.mitchcommgroup.com/mitchell-communications-group/public-relations-the-value-and-importance-of-research

(PR)esident Eisenhower

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The words “public relations” (PR) are pretty self-explanatory. It’s easy to figure out that it has something to do with relating to the public. The deeper you dig into what exactly PR is, the more clear the idea becomes. Before this class started, I thought PR was just how a company presented themselves to the public, and how they interacted with their clients. After doing some research, I know that along with that, it is also about building and maintaining relationships between a company and the public (About PR). PR is ever changing as technology advances, and it dates back to the early 20th century (Public Relations).

Public Relations is all about “anticipating, analyzing and interpreting public opinions, attitudes and issues that might impact, for good or ill, the operations and plans of the organization” (About PR). This means that they don’t often create new news, they work with what is already going on in the world and spin it for the benefit of their organization. This is done through research, planning and implementing the specific organization’s efforts.

Since the beginning, PR has been closely associated with propaganda, which is an association that people in the field have been trying to get rid of. Propaganda is much more manipulative than PR. PR isn’t so much about persuading people one way or the other, but about making sure that the company or person is showing their best side, and putting their best foot forward.

The difference between propaganda and PR becomes especially confusing when it comes to politics. The idea of public relations seems like something that would only be necessary for big companies with lots of customers, but that couldn’t be further from true. One singular person could need a PR team, such as President Eisenhower. Eisenhower knew that one of his biggest obstacles was going to be making sure the people understood why he was doing what he was doing (Parry 12). People on his team often got frustrated with how much he worried about PR, however, “It is not that Eisenhower viewed public relations as more serious than the development of the H-bomb, but rather, he saw public relations as one weapon that could eliminate its use” (Parry 12).

Eisenhower knew that putting the right foot forward, and getting the information out to the public, could be just as beneficial as creating a bomb. Because of this, he created the United States Information Agency (USIA). This was made because Eisenhower believed he could “end the cold war ‘without bloodshed’” (Parry 12). The USIA was created to essentially handle Eisenhower’s PR efforts.

It is obvious that PR is important. Without it, companies would struggle to connect with their customers, and would not be as equipped to get themselves out of sticky situations. If one of the most loved presidents in American history knew the importance of PR, it isn’t hard to believe that it’s a necessary part of any company.

 

About Public Relations. (2017, April 24). Retrieved September 05, 2017, from http://apps.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/publicrelationsdefined/

Parry, P. (2014). Eisenhower: the public relations president. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu

Public Relations Through Time. (2012). Retrieved September 05, 2017, from http://www.ipr.org.uk/public-relations-through-time.html