ARTCLE:  By Apryl Duncan,

Looking to enter the world of public relations? Get ready to shatter some popular myths.

Many people (maybe even your boss) don’t know the difference between advertising and PR.

In advertising, you can use a lot of over the edge techniques. But PR requires a little more restraint.

Think of advertising as your brother. He’s a party animal and everyone thinks he’s cool.

On the other hand, you’re more refined. You don’t stay out late and hardly ever deviate from the norm.

Part of the problem is that advertisements can pretty much say what they want. The company is paying for the ad space.

As a PR professional, your job is to get free publicity. You’re responsible for getting the company’s name out there with no hype, just news.

The challenge is clear but once you take the field, you’re ready to tackle an exciting career in PR. And you won’t be bored either.

You’ll be writing press releases, organizing news conferences and producing company newsletters. You’ll even be a liaison between the media and your company.

PR doesn’t stop there. There’s a whole list of functions you’ll be taking on, such as: public speaking, being interviewed on radio/TV, attending conferences, exhibitions and trade shows, arranging press launches, organizing opening days or visits to the plant and premises, coordinating studio and location photography and acting as the client’s spokesperson.

As you can see, you have to be a jack-of-all trades. So make sure you are suited for PR.

You need to be a sponge. Make the most of your time and on-the-job training. Listen, observe and learn everything you can.

Be a grasshopper. You’ll be handling several different projects at once so you have to be multi-task oriented. You have to give each project 100 percent of your attention without neglecting the other projects.

Show your colors. Be a chameleon. You better like people. You’ll be dealing with them a lot. And you have to adapt to any situation and be open-minded at all times.

Learn how to dance. No, not literally. You must have energy and stamina. There will be many nights you’re rundown and burning the midnight oil but you’ll still have to keep that smile on your face.

Long live the king! You’re the court jester. Nobody’s calling you a fool, but you’ll be the one generating ideas so be prepared to advise the king.

You don’t need all of these traits but a little bit of each will be helpful. Once you organize your first press conference or speak to a TV reporter about your new product, you’ll know you made the right decision when you entered PR.


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