PR Definitions Past & Present

            In the beginning of this year, my blog about public relations reflections included what I thought public relations was, without researching anything about it. What I have said was, “I reflect upon public relations as the idea of networking and getting ideas, thoughts, comments, suggestions, and more out in the open; where people can then analyze and prioritize among them.” I believe this to still be a true factor within the definition of public relations. Though, throughout the year I have learned about PR in much more depth. I learned the multiple different factors that are included within a public relations campaign and how to create, execute, and assess things in the proper way. I have also learned how to identify the difference between strategies and tactics much more thoroughly than what my original thoughts and ideas consisted of.

            Public relations entails a great deal of organization and management within all different positions people may acquire. “The most common definitional components appear to be “management,” “organization,” and “publics.” Practitioner definitions tend to focus on “management,” “organization,” and “publics” as well.” (Hutton, 1999). This probably makes sense to most people in the PR field considering their duties may relate to managing one thing or another, which requires organization, and of course you can’t have public relations without the publics.

            Another way to think about public relations is to think of it within the behaviors of people as a result of PR. “One vehicle that provides such an alternative basis for conceptualizing public relations is the symbolic interactionism of Herbert Blumer.” (Gordon, 1997). To think of public relations within a symbolic interaction is quite awkward at first. But if you think about it, PR images are everywhere. It is especially hard to avoid these images when they are constantly popping up everywhere you go. Not only is it difficult to just avoid being exposed to these images, but it is also very hard to completely ignore the images. One way or another, many images can take a toll on a person. They can be influenced by symbolism of one item, culture, idea, or another. People have their own opinions and favorite symbols, including brands and logos within clothes, companies, or other types of marketing.

            The media is constantly exposing us to a great amount of images and ideas. Public relations has a vast, yet very specific definition, or definitions for that matter. Unless you examine all parts of PR, it is hard to create a concrete definition because of the many different aspects it contains. I believe PR consists of organization, management, and publics, as well as the idea of symbolic interaction. All of these ideas can have a role within each other. In fact, it seems difficult to have management without organization, or to have symbolic interaction without publics. As you can see, it is clear that public relations contains a wide range of concepts. Though, as extensive as these concepts may be, it is clear the ideas are significant factors to one another.

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Gordon, J.C. (1997). Interpreting definitions of public relations: Self assessment and a symbolic interactionism-based alternative. Public Relations Review. Vol. 23 i.1, 57-66.

Hutton, J.G. (1999). The definition, dimensions, and domain of public relations. Public Relations Review. Vol. 25 i.2, 199-214.

Career Aspirations

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While children are growing up, they are becoming bombarded with different types of images from the media, advertising outlets, as well as the people in their lives that influence their thoughts and actions. Junk and Armstrong referenced in 2010, “Choosing a career is a complex developmental process that begins in childhood as individuals learn about the range of available career options.” (Gottfredson, 1981). Children are influenced from the very start about ideas of certain positions in genders.

It seems that more conventional type of careers are chosen by men, as studies have shown in the past. Also, women have been shown to take on more artistic career types. (Agak, 2001). Though, women are becoming more of an influence in leadership positions. It is not unusual today that women take on positions of authority. As these positions have been maintained in mens choices, I would say a position is given to whoever fulfills the requirements best, disregarding gender aspects. At least, this is how businesses and organizations should be, but sometimes this can cause issues. For example, in corporations sometimes people of specific positions are given the opportunity of another significant position, but they may not even qualify for that position. They may not even have the actual skills and expertise required for that position. Someone of lesser hierarchy may qualify completely for the position, but because they are lower in the end of the hierarchy, they are not gifted this opportunity. This is an unfortunate aspect that can happen in many different companies or corporations.

“Early on the path to many careers, men and women-indeed, even boys and girls-begin to differentially commit themselves to activities that are career relevant.” (Correll, 2004). Since they differentiate themselves as they grow up, it creates and maintains the gender differences in all types of jobs. This is something that needs to be addressed in all companies. Not only in companies, but this should be explained about to younger generations as they are growing up so that they are aware of the cultural differences needed for companies to be as successful and well-rounded as possible. Any one is able to take any type of position desired. It’s unusual for a women to be a construction worker, at least most people think. But then when someone sees a women on the highway doing construction work, they are acknowledged more than men.

“Gender status beliefs evoke a gender-differentiated double standard for attributing performance to ability, which differentially biases the way men and women assess their own competence at tasks that are career relevant, controlling for actual ability.” (Correll, 2004). Unfortunately, the differences in gender career aspirations have a big factor in the overall culture of different companies, organizations, and communities. It is important to include the most diverse cultural features possible in all types of communities. To put images in young generations’ minds can defect the much-needed cultural differences in future companies and organizations.

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Agak, J. (2001). Career aspirations and career development barriers of adolescents in kisumu municipality, Kenya. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, 2(5): 320-324.
Correll, S. J. (2004). Constraints into preferences: Gender, status, and emerging career aspirations. American Sociological Review, 69(1), 93-113.
Junk, K.E. & Armstrong, P.I. (2010). Stability of career aspirations: a longitudinal test of Gottfredson’s theory. Journal of Career Development, 37(3), 579-598.

Ethics in Public Relations

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          Ethics in public relations, as any other profession, should be considered very carefully by all specialists. Things have to be done properly and honestly within all groups of employers, whether they may or may not work with the same people all the time. The public has to learn how to execute their actions in the most appropriate way possible.

            “While increasing attention is being paid by people in public relations to ethical theory, the predominant ethical perspective in the field is still situational. The reason for this, at least in part, is the loss of the traditional grounds of moral objectivity—tradition, religion, and universal reason. (Leeper, 1996).  Event eight years ago, challenges were appearing within peoples ethical analyses of their own and others morals. In public relations, honesty is the number one priority in everything a person does. Well, at least it should be your number one priority.  

            “It’s all about public trust. Public trust involves professional practitioners, the fields we practice in and the domains-the institutions that legitimize our work, that provide the codes of ethics, technical standards, and personal values that we uphold.” (Atkin, 2003). If you are always being the most honest you can be, at all times, then people are more likely to trust in your decisions. If you are able to maintain this type of relationship between co-workers, the practice becomes second nature and keeps consistent a set of ethics.

            Ethics in public relations could have issues in all sorts of areas. For example, in sports there can be ethical issues in judging a sports contest. Ethics and morals occur in governmental issues, sales revenue, choosing and assessing information, legislation and policy issues, and many other subjects. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation said “there were perhaps tens of millions in bribes and hundreds of millions in lost revenue.” (Atkin, 2003). This statement seems a bit absurd. There were “perhaps” millions of bribes? People are being unethical when they let things slide by as if doing immoral actions will not have any effect on future outcomes. I think that for this to happen, it is sad to see first off, and also makes me wonder where society will be in future decades.

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Atkin, N. (2003). Ethics and public relations from an assessment perspective. Assessment             Journal, 10(1), 41-51. Retrieved from

Leeper, R.V.  (01/01/1996).  Moral Objectivity, Jurgen Habermas’s Discourse Ethics, and Public Relations.  Public relations review. ,  22 (2), p. 133 – 50.

Why Research in PR?

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            Research in public relations is essential for understanding a particular target market, demographic, psychographic, lifestyles, and anything else you can think of. It is very important to have a well grounded understanding and background information about the group(s) you are going to be tailoring your promotions to. Research is one of the most important things when it comes to many things in life. In public relations it is crucial to break down every bit of each segment and explore the different pros, cons, possibilities, challenges, strengths, competition, you name it!

            “PR models should be analyzed and understood in depth with respect to “political context, culture and social”; rather than defining it narrowly.” (Khodarahmi, 2009). This statement couldn’t have put it in a better way.  To be able to have a strong business up and running, things have to be extremely strategic in that specific work environment. All employees have certain ideas they can incorporate, they have specific jobs they have to execute properly and accordingly. If things are not in-sync with each other, how do you know it will go well? There’s always a possibility of simple mistakes when people don’t pay attention and contribute their part of the research. “In order to be successful in this endeavor, a public relations program must be adjusted to the group of people to whom it is directed.” (Lang, 1951).  Even in the 50s they knew they had to come up with a strategic plan to be able to perform well.

            “Another wide field of research includes procedures relating to the selection, placement, and training of personnel. Tests are available for measuring aptitude, ability, intelligence, achievements, personality, interest, and attitudes.” (Lang, 1951).  Research in public relations is important to all aspects of the exploration.

            “Research allows us to show results, to measure impact, and to refocus our efforts based on those numbers.” (Public Relations v. 1.0, 2012). Besides that research is important to show the different results of facts that were found, it is also an important aspect to use the many different routes of research. By this, I mean, depending on what you are exploring, you may need to find primary research for your topic or group, or maybe only secondary research. All and all, research is extremely crucial to understanding the background and specifics of whatever it is you may be searching for!

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Khodarahmi, E. (2009). Strategic public relations. Disaster Prevention and Management, 18(5),   529-534. doi:

Lang, F. The Role of Research in Public Relations The Public Opinion Quarterly , Vol. 15, No. 1   (Spring, 1951) , pp. 54-64. Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. URL:

Public Relations v. 1.0. (2012) Purpose and Forms of Research, 8.2. doi:        research.html

Public Relations Reflection

Sunset on the North Sea, Amrum, Germany

I reflect upon public relations as the idea of networking and getting ideas, thoughts, comments, suggestions, and more out in the open; where people can then analyze and prioritize among them. I think it includes many factors, from using social media outlets, to analyzing statistical information, and maintaining a specific image to others or the world. I believe public relations has a wide variety of many different positions. So, to try and define it in one sentence is a bit difficult unless you have a specific department (so-to-speak) to consider.

I think that public relations can be thought of as a reputation. The overall image of a company or organization is essentially how they represent their brand. It is similar to “picking a personality” of a celebrity, or figure to relate that to the tone of the brand.  Public relations is being able to maintain a certain image or idea/personality, and living up to its standards. I think that it comes in many different forms.  Because there is so much to public relations, it is critical that all parts of the company/organization are all on the same page. They must be working together to be able to create and sustain the important factors that make up their organization as a whole. I believe if things are executed correctly, brands can uphold their image/personality to the public.

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Collaboration & Social Media

Collaboration & Social Media

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            Within whatever future career I attain in communications and advertising/PR, there will be many reasons I would use social media and collaboration of working in teams.  If I were to work for an advertising company, where I had to investigate a specific target market, I would use the different social media platforms that specific target audience might possibly be using. I would make the effort to identify any trends in that audiences’ searches.

If we incorporate social media tools in our collaboration, things could have the possibility of becoming more efficient. Efficient in the sense of compatibility.  If people are working together on many different projects and if the opportunity is there, they could use different social media tools to complete a task and then send it over to who it needs to go to. ” Technologies such as blogs, wikis, tag clouds, social networks and podcasts blend user-generated content and ad hoc information-sharing capabilities on one hand, with data about the people involved and the tasks they are doing on the other.” (2008, p.1). When the user generated content is blended with all other data and information searches, it gives advertisers a good idea about a person or group of people.  It can show them what certain users are searching, buying, liking, posting, and more.

“The rise and popularity of social media have had a dramatic effect on the ways people interact and share information on a personal level…” (Yurcan, 2013).  When there is a dominate social media platform, you can obviously conclude that a majority of people are using that platform. When you are able to figure out the different demographics that use them, you can organize the groups accordingly.  When there is a few dominate social media sites that someone uses and they only view specific things, then they only post things pert ante to those of their pleasure, views, ideas, or beliefs. This can become a problem because they only advertise what that person wants to see, or has looked at. When they aren’t informed about other things they don’t think to look up, then they begin avoiding it at all costs, unconsciously. They begin to have a more closed mind, closed view point and are less open to hearing other people’s ideas. This obviously leads to less collaboration for those people, which makes it harder for the people that are willing to collaborate, to do so.

“CIOs generally fall into three categories: Asocial – Makes no effort to get on with anybody, including their boss. Machiavellian – Effort making extends to only those with political power. Collaborator – Proactively looks to engage with users at every level of the organisation.” (2011, McCormack). Unfortunately, some CIOs can end up in a category that seems like it shouldn’t even exist, considering they are a CIO. Perhaps you can conclude that CIOs that fall under a “Collaborator” could potentially have most success in their organization. Collaboration is the number one skill in any career, no matter what it is. If you think you don’t have to work with others and share/feed from each other’s ideas in your future career, then you are in a bit of a predicament. It doesn’t matter what field or concentration you are working in, you are always going to need communication skills and cooperation for team work. And once you do learn how valuable sharing ideas can be, collaboration will eventually become second nature to you, and you will hopefully understand it’s significance.


1 – COLLABORATION AND SOCIAL MEDIA – 2008. (2008). Growth Strategies, (1015), 1-2. Retrieved from

Yurcan, B. (2013). Collaboration goes social. Bank Systems & Technology, 50(1), 8-n/a. Retrieved from

McCormack, A. (2011). Collaboration. FT.Com, Retrieved from

Social Media Technology in Future Careers

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              How I might use technology in my future career field, after college, would be in many different ways.  One way would be using the computer for research. In advertising, if you don’t know anything about the company you are possibly prospecting, or may have as an account- then you need to research information about them, their products or their services. For example, Di Pietro and Pantano said; after conducting this research, I found that, in fact, the fun provided in Facebook, as well as the possibility to ask for suggestions in an ease and entertaining way motivate users in both actively participating in the social life and paying more attention to the products and services promoted via Facebook (2012). This was for research about a specific aspect for consumers’ influence from Facebook advertising. The information was researched and needed in order to know completely if the advertising on Facebook was effective or not. I know 100% I will have to use the internet for research, in order to present things accurately.

            In the career I pursue in my future, I know I will have to use technology in the environment I settle in. People overlook the small things that can be very valuable in knowing how to use correctly. For example, using a copy/scanner machine is something that every person who works in an office typesetting, should know how to use. Though, those are the small things that most people unconsciously neglect.  Being an advertising/public relations major, I think it is important to become somewhat familiar with design programs such as, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and the like. This is important because there may be an instance that comes up last minute to make changes to an advertisement, but your designated designer(s) are out and unable to complete the task before deadline. If you know how to cope with this and you are flexible enough to work around the obstacles, it ends up working out for the better- in every ones favor.

            Overall, I am well aware that I will constantly be using old, new, and re-worked technologies of all kinds throughout my future career field. Technology has already made endless amounts of advancements in very short periods of time. Therefore, it will only continue to do so more as time goes on. Technology has been changing since the start and in order to be informed and keep up with the innovations, you have to be able to apply the tasks on your own and keep yourself updated on changes/additions.




Di Pietro, L., & Pantano, E. (2012). An empirical investigation of social network influence on consumer purchasing decision: The case of Facebook. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 14(1), 18-29. doi:

Yousif, R. (2012). The extent of Facebook users’ interest in the advertising messages. International Journal of Marketing Studies. doi:http10.5539/ijms.v4n3p122