My name is Sharilynn Brown and I am a second year student at Roger Williams University pursuing a major in media relations. As a college student there are two questions that I seem to hear a lot of. The first of these questions is “What are you majoring in?” This is often followed by a second question, “What do you plan to do with that?” Some people are less polite and choose to share insightful statements such as “You know you’re never going to make money, right?” I firmly believe that questions like these are often attributed to the stigma attached to PR, and a lack of understanding of the field of communications in general.
The PRSA, or Public Relations Society of America, defines Public Relations as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” It is a field widely based on “relationship building”, but that doesn’t mean that it is any less serious than more scientific fields. As a matter of fact, part of the beauty of public relations is that almost every company needs some form of PR to be successful. Without strong relationships and the ability to communicate, everything else breaks down. Many individuals in fields like biology and engineering lack communication skills, and therefore hire a PR firm or professional to assist them in helping their business or organization to grow. With all of that said, I don’t know exactly where my media relations degree will take me following graduation, but I know that it will take me somewhere. Like any realistic college student, I’m fully aware that I may not land my dream job directly following graduation; however, I do believe that if I work hard enough I’ll get there someday.
Everything is a learning process and experience is one of the most valuable things that an individual can possess. My university’s chapter of PRSSA, the Public Relations Student Society of America, invited Ms. Meghan Rothschild to speak about her experiences in the PR world following her graduation from college. Meghan opened my eyes to the many possibilities available to individuals with degrees in communications, so much so that I stayed after the meeting to speak with her and ask some additional questions. Meghan informed me about the Chikmedia blog and invited me to contribute. This opportunity to improve my writing and social media skills would not have been possible if I had not taken the time to speak with Meghan following my meeting. There are ample possibilities to gain the experience necessary to succeed in any field, but you must be willing to seek them.
Part of the reason that I chose to pursue PR is because it’s a field that will allow me to both to work with people, and to make a positive impact on their lives through my career. So, for now I’ll keep learning and accomplishing everything that I set out to do to the best of my ability. I’ll make the best of what I have and one day, I’m confident that things will all fall into place. So look out, this PR girl will change the world one day, just wait and see!