Finding My Tutorial to Public Relations

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Firstly, I’d like to address that the ‘u’ve’ in my featured image is hurting my brain – the internet Ladies and Gentlemen.

I chose to use that image as it’s partially true. Just how are we initiated into the adult world? How do we find our path?

Maybe there should be a tutorial. 

Saying that, there are plenty of 18-25’s who are the most passionate, driven individuals I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, they know exactly what they want from life, what career to follow and how they’re going to do it.

I think I might finally be getting there, but it wasn’t always that easy..

16 years old and fresh out of Year 11. You have your whole life ahead of you, but that dreaded question is looming over you:

“What do you want to do when you’re older?”

Family parties, Connexions meetings, Talking to your friends and teachers, it was everywhere. In all honesty? I didn’t have a clue. My apparent ability and initial love for science lead me to believe I was going to become the newest recruit at CSI: Plymouth. (Would like to point out that this does not exist, unfortunately)

6 months in and some mediocre exam results later, I realised that not only did I despise the subject I once loved, I wasn’t that great at it either.

So there I was – sixteen, spotty and stubborn. Was I going to back down? Of course I wasn’t. I dragged myself through the next two years. Why? Because I’d discovered the world of Media Studies. And what a world it was.

There were 101 things I probably should have done, changed my A-Levels to compliment Media or started completely over but you know what teenagers are like.

I continued to focus on my new found love for current affairs, the news, the media. I loved all aspects of the course, the advertising, the marketing communications and especially the writing. So in January 2013, that’s exactly what I applied for, Advertising and Marketing. But just a few weeks later my teacher asked me:

“Why don’t you study Public Relations? You’d be great at it”

I shrugged it off, I didn’t even know what PR was – little did I know that less than a year later I’d be on a gap year, reapplying to study Journalism and Public Relations. I did my research and the idea of communicating with the public stuck, what’s better than a conversation? The thought of a career that incorporated marketing comms, advertising and writing was a bonus too.

“Journalism and PR? They’re so different aren’t they?” I’ve been asked this countless times now, the answer is, there are and they aren’t. There’s an unbreakable link between the two that runs deeper than the odd press release in an email. Co-existing makes them stronger, relationships make them stronger. Having an in-depth knowledge in both will hopefully benefit my career.

And as for “What is PR?” it’s a question that even the more mature practitioners struggle to answer – some refuse to, the main aspect of PR has always involved relationships but other parts have changed and evolved over time and will continue do so, isn’t that more exciting than a bog-standard definition?

So now I’m older, wiser and  a lot less stubborn. I’ve found a career in PR and I can’t wait to start it – and as for a tutorial? It looks like i’m taking that one, one page at a time.

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