Study Public Relations, Public Relations Schools
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Public Relations is the art of making an impression to the public. During elections, notice how some candidates, if not all, carry a baby and then coincidentally a cameraman appear out of nowhere and clicks his camera. Then, conveniently, the picture is all over the front pages of major broadsheet publications. Candidates usually hire a PR specialist to give them an image boost to make the public vote for them. Before elections used to be just a contest of platforms but nowadays is really the war of PR specialists. The better your PR man, the greater your chances of reaching through to the public and ultimately win the election. PR specialists are consulted from just about anything, from the color of the shirt to the slogans to be used. Anything that would be perceived by the public will be scrutinized by a PR man. However PR specialists are not limited to image building. They are also called upon on to help minimize an impact of a nasty rumor or news. The movie “Wag the Dog” which starred Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman exemplifies a PR man’s expertise by doing damage control on a potential scandal that could ruin a candidate’s bid for the presidential office.
Sometimes, PR specialists are labeled as spin doctors. Usually, spin doctors have a deceptive or manipulative edge to it. A spin is a term in the industry that may refer to an event or campaign. Deceptive because sometimes a spin may be presented using selected facts only. This is what they call cherry picking. Remember when a popular vocalist died because of AIDS. News of HIV did not go to the public ears only after years of his death have passed. News of his being HIV/AIDS victim did come out when only until people where not much ostracized to people with AIDS.
Speaking of AIDS and HIV, PR specialists are also brought in to give public awareness programs such as AIDS awareness campaigns the right exposure and in order to reach as many people as it could. Information dissemination is also one of the specialties of a public relations man. In one Southeast Asian country, New Year’s Eve is celebrated by exploding firecrackers. Over the years, incidence of detached hands and fingers are a common scene among hospitals during January 1. To disseminate the ill effects of lighting firecrackers, PR specialists were called in to let the public know that firecrackers are dangerous and unsafe. The following year, the government showed ads weeks before New Year’s Eve the fate of past victims who played with fire in a literal sense. The TV infomercials showed lots of blood and detached hands and fingers and little boys anguishing in pain and at the same time swearing never to touch another firecracker again. It was so gory that the public got the message and from that year on, incidence of severed body parts due to firecrackers went down from hundreds to less than 10 cases.
Public relations man may not be that famous maybe except in the industry but truth to tell, it is really the PR man who wins elections, who sells products and informs the public.
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