This summer I am traveling to London for a Study Abroad program with Georgia Southern University that I am grateful to be able to afford. If money were not a problem I think I would travel to Ireland for an extended visit. My father is from Ireland and he is one of seven that were born to his mother. I would enjoy to spend a year with them and really connect with my father’s side of the family. If I could take anyone in the whole world with me it would be my dog, Mccoy. Traveling with a dog is almost impossible because of rabies and the fact that they are dogs and can not just hop on to a plane or bus. To take him with me would be exciting as we could share in the experience of trekking across Europe or Asia.
The list is full of fun items that are cool and quirky but I do not think I would purchase or take any of them with me to London. This Study Abroad I want to focus on being in London and enjoying my experience with the people around me. I do not want to focus on home or take photos for Instagram or snapchat constantly. I want to mentally and physically be in London. Also, most of the time I am miserable on the airplane as I am big man weighing in over 200 pounds and standing at 6’2″. No amount of head gear or comfy clothes can help my knees pressing into the seat in front of me or my elbows rubbing with my neighbor. I usually chose to take Benadryl and try and sleep for the entire journey. If there was anything I would include on the list it would probably be some type of tranquilizer so I could sleep the entire trip. I also find that the drinking laws in Europe are completely different than those in the states so there is no need for a flask or anything of the like. Grab a pint or a glass of wine from almost anywhere and enjoy.
My dream job is to take over my Father’s business after I graduate college. He runs a real estate company that has properties all over the eastern coast and locations in Texas. A large percentage of his properties are in the Savannah area and that is where I would like to move after I graduate from Southern. I have some competition from my younger brother and sister who also want to a part of the family business. Instead of trying to beat them out though we are working out a plan to split up some of the tasks associated with managing the company. My brother intends to be a lawyer and his skills will be invaluable for the company. I am very good at the day to day managing of the company and its locations. My sister intends to become a real estate agent and she will be in charge of renting and acquiring new properties. To achieve this end goal I spend almost every weekend in Savannah working on the properties and handling realtors. My father and I have started to include my brother in some of our discussions and have given him tasks to help him into the business. My sister is still in high school but we will begin to include her as well when she gets older.
Before the wide spread domination of Social Media the smaller problem situations and sometimes even the conflicts did not have that much of an impact against a large organization because the situation could only be spread to 20 or 30 people for the most part by word of mouth. Now using Social Media one person could spread the small conflict that was between one customer and one representative to millions of eyes. Each conflict must be handled as if the whole world was watching (because it is) and that the situation is handled in a way that the organization wants.
By having the Practitioners know exactly how the company or organization wants to be represented it will give the practitioner an idea of how each customer or situation should be handled. The practitioner should also know what they are comfortable with in terms of satisfying a disgruntled customer such as sending product as gifts or anything of the sort. By letting the practitioner know he can make sure all the reps of the company handle each situation in the best way.
Human Beings are not killers. If we were killers we would have armor, teeth, or fangs. Humans are meant to be connected with each other and to communicate. The power of communicating has allowed Humans to rise above other mammals and become the top species on the planet. The techniques employed by influential figures throughout the ages to persuade audiences can be seen as bad such as in the case of Hitler where he drove the German people to Genocide. These techniques can be beneficial when used by the right people for instance MLK Jr. and his speeches against racism or Gahndi when he tried to get independence for India. Being able to sway the mind of the crowd is a powerful ability that can be used for good or evil, it all depends on the user.
I believe that research is so important to the PR Practitioner because in today’s world of social media once a statement is said and put out for the general public to see it is impossible to take it back. Even sending out a second statement to correct the first is often not enough as most people do not research into the topic as well as they should and generally just read the title and blurb that comes with it that they see shared on their FaceBook wall or a link on Twitter.
I looked up the term research and according to the book “A Practitioner’s Guide to Public Relations Research, Measurement, and Evaluation,” research is defined as “the systematic effort before or during and/or after a communication activity aimed at discovering and collecting the facts or opinions pertaining to an identified issue, need, or question”. Research is necessary for almost every part of the PR process because knowing your client and his business partners as well as the world around you is important to getting the job done. By properly researching what you need to accomplish it can help you set goals and complete them. Also, when making a claim for a client showing exactly how you found your recommendation can help make it seem more plausible to your client as well as let them know it can be trusted.
Before going on social media or speaking in front of a client knowing exactly what state the world is in, what type of restaurant the client likes or even how he might take an idea is important to our success. By researching before speaking we will feel confident in our goals and know they are achievable(or at least know we are going for a long shot if they are not.).
The use of social media has become ever more important to a PR practitioner because of the tremendous popularity of platforms like Twitter and Facebook that allow people from all over the world to easily share and view information. This does not detract from the importance of traditional communication such as newspapers or the morning news. These are longstanding and for the most part trusted forms of communication that still reach millions of people every day.
Social media allows for the PR practitioner to communicate with the population instantly and more personally than through a newspaper or interview. By also being tapped into these networks it allows the practitioner to see all the conversations a person is having about their clients. By not being in these streams the conversations still happen, just the practitioner and their clients are left out of it. By being able to instantly report on any news that came up or to respond to an angry customer, in the case of the Bee company, it lets a PR practitioner get in touch with the population and do instantaneous damage control.
Traditional forms of communication are still needed because they are more trusted in the bigger scheme of things than a Facebook or Twitter post. Sometimes it is better also in the public eye to have news stations picking what you are doing up and telling the population rather than you always broadcasting it from a Facebook page. The longstanding tradition of newspapers and broadcast news give the PR practitioner an official feel in my opinion.
I feel that in the general eye of the public the job of a PR practitioner is seen as kind of a joke. People think our main goal is to twist the information that the public receives so as to shine a good light on their client or company and cover up any mishaps. The ability for anybody to easily convey information (or misinformation) to the masses through social media is a real thorn in the side of any legitimate practitioner. One sub-par practitioner can easily leave a bad reputation for the whole profession as so many people can see it.
I like the fact that if a lawyer were to be unethical or practicing something illegal they can have their license removed. I think having PR practitioners earn a license will give them some professionalism and keep them in check in both the eyes of the public as well as with their own colleagues. Rather than just the risk of losing the job when a PR practitioner is asked or decides to do something that isn’t considered respectable in the public eye he or she will risk being barred from ever practicing again by losing their license. Even the name of the PR practitioner means they are practicing PR such as a lawyer practices law with a license.
Requiring a license for a PR practitioner is seen by some to go against the First Amendment because it blocks the people’s right to the freedom of speech. I think that it can be seen as that but that it is a hasty generalization. The idea that a PR practitioner, whose job is to communicate on the behalf of others, needing a license to do so is not blocking that person’s freedom of speech. That person is not necessarily speaking on ideas or topics they want to because it is for their job. Now if that practitioner went home and hopped on his or her own personal twitter and tweeted about their ideas it wouldn’t affect their license. The license is for the job and any PR posts around the job.
Now I do see the problem with the idea that the license affects only the practitioner’s job as sometimes this job requires the practitioners to speak and have their name associated with their client and if people could easily look up their twitter then they can see everything that client might be posting. I started thinking about the future and how we could handle some of these issues and it made me think of these accounts that would be the PR practitioners but it would be under a different name and be a new person. It would basically be a completely new persona for the PR practitioner that would be linked to that specific person. He or she could then continue her job using that account and then switch off and be a normal person out of the lime light and hold their own views. Lose your license and you lose your account. It almost becomes you in a way which can be interesting and scary at the same time. Having a whole bunch of PR practitioners assuming the identities of these accounts.