By Taylor Morton, Amos Brown Intern
When I told my 7-year-old cousin that I am a summer intern at a public relations and advertising agency, her face immediately went blank. She replied, “Uhhh, what’s that?”
As first-graders, we all wanted to be a doctor, firefighter, singer or professional athlete because these were the established norm for that age group. I myself wanted to be a singer and background dancer for Christina Aguilera, but that was very short-lived after quickly finding out I could neither sing nor dance.
Frankly, how many 7-year-olds know anything about public relations? Or advertising? None that I know of.
At some point, we were all introduced to the PR and advertising industry, and some of us were influenced to pursue a career in it. But I’ll be honest: I am 21 years old and just now beginning to understand what public relations and advertising truly are.
As a telecommunications and journalism major, my main focus is gathering and presenting news to the general public. However, I’m learning that advertising and public relations consist more of telling a precise message to a precise audience. The message is then tailored to resonate with other audiences to generate an optimal reaction or behavior.
Though they have different approaches and goals, journalism, public relations and advertising are all merely forms of communications. At my university, Ball State, all fall under the College of Communication, Information and Media.
The industry of journalism, which aspires to impartiality, uses communication to simply inform the public and then allow individuals to create opinions based off the information shared. Advertising and public relations use communication to help share a client’s image, idea or program with targeted audiences.
As an intern, I’m still very new to the industry and still ask, “What’s PR and advertising?” But I’m learning more each day.
Few children learn about journalism, PR and advertising as possible careers. That’s too bad.
Take my cousin. Trying to think of the simplest words to describe my internship, I replied, “Well, it’s a way to communicate certain news and information to certain people.”
Her face began to glow with understanding. Then she said, “Oh, OK. I can do that!”