Written by Tatjana Petrikina
As far as I can remember, I have always loved to write. As a kid, I would constantly keep a diary where I would constantly write short stories and poems. I would read them to my parents and grandparents every night before dinner, and they would applaud each time I was finished. To be honest I wasn’t very good at it, but my family made me believe that I had this extraordinary talent, and quite frankly, the process of writing excited me. Needless to say, when I enrolled in the University of Memphis, I chose Journalism as my major. To my surprise, after my first year of college, I was filled with disappointment and confusion, because the major I was so sure about didn’t turn out to be anything I imagined. It didn’t evoke any feeling of excitement. Not to say that journalism isn’t rewarding or crucial in today’s society, I just realized that it wasn’t for me. I still wanted to do something with writing, I just didn’t know exactly what. After thorough research and several advising appointments, I wanted to share three reasons I switched my major to Public Relations.
I could never imagine myself working a 9 to 5 job. I wanted every day to be different, have variety of responsibilities, and be able to grow as a communicator and a writer. As a PR practitioner you get to do all of it. As you enter this field, you are expected to be many things, including but not limited to a writer, communicator, reporter, consultant, photographer, videographer, fact checker, branding expert, public speaker, and relationship builder. Some days you might be writing press releases and fact checking information. Other days you might have to present a PR campaign or manage a crisis. Every day you will learn something new, get an opportunity to meet experts in various fields, and become more experienced in your profession.
Building Relationships and Networking Opportunities
Building and maintaining strong relationships is crucial for me in my personal and professional life. I can’t imagine having a great working environment without trust, communication, and mutual respect. At its core, a PR practitioner establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the publics. We are the ones who send out the clients’ messages to their audiences in a clear and concise way, while also ensuring that the messages are mutually beneficial and sensitive to all types of diversity. We are communicators, storytellers, effective listeners, and all about people. Moreover, as PR practitioners, we meet interesting and influential people daily, including reporters, celebrities, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and more, who ultimately become a part of our growing network.
Being from a small town, it was always my dream to be able to travel for work. As a PR Practitioner, when meeting with your clients you get to visit so many domestic and international places. Oftentimes, between meetings, you have a chance to do some sightseeing, try out local cuisine, and share these experiences with your family, friends, and colleagues.
If any of this sounds enticing to you and you are passionate about writing and learning, Public Relations might be a major for you. To this day, I have not regretted my decision, and I am extremely excited to grow in this field.