Q: What are some myths and preconceptions of the field of public relations? Why do you think they exist?
Public Relations is a field that has multiple definitions and no specific one is incorrect. When someone asks you what is PR you would most likely say something like, “If you’re in PR, then you deal with a person, place, or thing’s image.” Good definition. Some may also say they “relate with the public,” Nice one. Merriam-Webster defines public relations as “the business of inducing the public to have an understanding for and goodwill toward a person, firm, or institution.”
There are many preconceptions and myths about PR because of the lack of a universal definition. One of the common myths about PR is that it is all about women and their ability to maintain and positively influence the image of whatever the subject may be. Actually, even though PR is predominantly women (making up 70% of the field), men still make up 30% of the field of public relations. Another common myth about PR is that all those in the field do is image management. The Princeton Review goes into detail about the many different tasks that one who is involved in public relations may delve into while on the job. Some of these things include specializing in specific fields including government (what the public calls “Press Secretaries) and business consulting. The reason people have these myths about PR is mostly because of multitude of tasks one can take on while having a career in PR. Many put judgement on those who are in PR, saying that it isn’t a real career, when in fact the reason they judge is because of the amount of “grey” there is when defining the actual position. Unfortunately until there is a universal understanding and definition for Public Relations then there will always be preconceived thoughts on what exactly PR is.
Links for more on what PR is:
Link for more misconceptions about PR: