Thursday, October 8, 2015

Public Relations: The Odd Spot in Journalism

Robert Vollman

It has to be one of the destructive forms of Journalism. It can help build someone up, and it can take another one down. It can change the lives of those who are close to it for better or for worse, and the crazy part of it is that doesn't even have to come from a reporter.

Being the fact that it isn't a part of any conventional reporting, that means we are talking about one thing, Public Relations.

Ah yes, the PR department, a common part of the everyday workplace and in life in general. It seems that everyone has them, from corporations and celebrities, to the President, and even  the Pope has his own PR guy. Its a part of a business that just seems so inescapable, and it's also strangely a part of Journalism.

Public Relations just feels like a job title. A profession with only one goal in mind, to make the company/person that they are representing look good and to make those who oppose them look bad. It's not flashy or exciting but it gets the work done.

It can involve less work than being a reporter, because instead of getting the story from all sides, it's just coming out of one perspective. No extra depth has to be put in if it's not needed. It's a talking head of sorts that is just meant to say all of the right things and nothing more, and that's all it'll probably be. Yet somehow it is still considered part of Journalism.

Why should it be?

Well, much like all forms of Journalism, even though it's only detailing what could be a business plan, it can still be a story that people need to hear. Maybe a small story about a company phasing out a group of workers or another company's story about hiring new workers may not seem so important to you, those who are a part of that field of work may need to know that they need to have a plan in place for a new job.

PR also can be a big help with celebrities too, and it works in many situations. If the star in question gets sick or injured, a memo could then be sent out to alert others to say that they are OK. When a star gets in trouble, they can set up their own apology to try and save face. It can also help them get out of sticky situations, like trying to justify how to get out of being accountable for what they said or did in a magazine.

photo from
 In the end, Public Relations may not feel like a true news making job, but without it, many people would be out of loop within a company's thought process. Little thought would go into how people would want the outside world to view them. If it wasn't around, we would lose some of the information that we need to see and hear.

1 comment:

  1. Robert, Great post about the newfound career of Public Relations. To me, public relations is replacing the job of reporters and journalist. Public relations is growing because the audience wants information immediately and with the convenience of social media it can be done. I love how you stated that everyone has a PR guy, even the pope! Great post.