In college, some people start their journey knowing exactly what they want the rest of their life to be. Some, on the other hand, have no idea what they are going to do in an hour. As a freshman, I was the latter. Now, five years later, in the midst of my victory lap, I can say finding PR was well worth the wait (and all those extra tuition dollars).
Starting out, I had the wild ambition of being a doctor. If this is you, GO FOR IT. Keep going and you can accomplish your dream. I, however, was not born to be a doctor. After bouncing around from department to department, I found my way into a Mass Communications class with Professor Candy Justice. She is a doll. On attendance day, the professors ask the undecided or non-jurno majors if they would like to switch. Being in the “undecided” category, and in front of a lecture class of roughly 200, I said “Sure, why not?” I have always loved writing. Not creatively, I am a type A person trapped in a type B person’s body, but rather about things. I like to tell people’s stories.
The choice to switch to Journalism was easy. It was always right there, but I was so headstrong on being a doctor, that I never realized you can be great and influence the world by writing. It was the choice that came after that was the hard one. What do I concentrate in? Newspapers are in time of change and trying to figure out how to adapt to a generation of millennials who think that news should be fast and free. I have no interest in television media, we’ll save that story for later. PR. I had NO idea what it was, what it meant. I have learned that Public Relations is everything.
Public relations is marketing, it is business, it is crisis communications, it is social media. It is writing, it is public speaking, it is serious, and it is fun. PR is so many things and yet one singular thing at the same time. So, I chose PR. I chose getting to wake up every day and do something different. I chose a life of bettering my city, my community, and my business. I chose a life of contacts, meeting interesting people, and getting to take my degree to levels I could have never dreamed of.
In a generation of people who are looking for someone to blame, I get to be a light in the dark. I get to help calm refugees after a disaster. I get to care for people. I was raised to love everyone. My grandmother, “Meme,” and my momma have this thing where their home is everyone’s home and there’s always a hot meal there. I dream of taking those values and strengthening a company with them. Not by housing them and cooking them dinner, but by showing the caring spirit instilled upon me to their publics, creating a trustworthy and personal bond.
Public Relations is diversity.