Now that I have studied PR for more than 7 months at Solent – intensely I have to admit – I realise that I can see it all around me. I would have never thought a few months ago –I mean we can surely say 2 months ago! – that I would, one day, have been able to recognise it. To me, PR was the same as marketing or advertising. I just couldn’t make the difference. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure that it was different from what I had studied before.
I still remember when my friends or my family asked me what PR was all about. The first months at Solent, I couldn’t give them a proper answer because I didn’t know it myself. Then, when I got back to Belgium for Christmas, I tried to explain PR. No one understood. I wasn’t convinced by my explanations either.
However, today, back in Belgium for Easter break –and on my way right now to Istanbul – PR is clearer in my mind than ever. No, I cannot give you a fixed definition of it because PR is about everything, because PR can do anything and because PR is more than just PR. It goes beyond that; touches advertising, marketing, communications but is still different than those industries alone. PR does a bit of all of them in addition to PR. Do you see where I am going? In a nutshell, PR is a unique mix of marketing, advertising, communications and of PR.
Now, that is the way I see it. When I look at all the definitions given by academics and practitioners, each one of them have another idea of what PR is. I think that until a universal definition of PR is given, we can allow ourselves to define PR the way we see it.
The PR campaign that I have run along with my classmates thought me the way I see PR today. It is such a broad and interesting industry that has, I am sure, a bright and successful future.
How funny to sit here today, at Starbucks Coffee at Brussels Airport, and see PR happening all around me in 4 different languages – and most of all recognise it! Yes, in 4 languages because, for those of you that didn’t know, Belgium is a country that has 3 official languages – French, Dutch and German – and that uses English as the international language.
When you know exactly what you are doing, when you understand it and see it while sitting and looking around you, I believe that it means that you like it and that you made the right choice by choosing it. I am talking about the MA PR I am doing at Solent. Yes, that definitely was what I had to do to get where I want to be and to do what I want to do.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true”. I am convinced that the MA PR at Solent is the springboard that will help me realise my dreams.
Never forget, if you want to do something, believe in yourself and take all the opportunities that will help you reach your goals. That is the key!