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    Online observations of public relations, marketing, advertising and social media; the occasional frivolity; and The Rundown show notes. Jump in, the water's fine.

    Please Note: Everything posted on this blog is my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of my employer or its constituents.

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On your mark, get set…

Hello everyone. My name is Luke Armour. I’m a graduate student of the communication discipline getting my Masters in the area of Public Relations. Interestingly, I’ve found that many people have a misunderstanding of that job description. It seems intangible. People want to know what you do, they want to see something. Unfortunately, PR has often by judged by what it does, rather than by what it is. If I’m a DJ at a radio station, people understand that. They can mentally picture what I do all day, see in their mind’s eye my job, label and put me on a shelf. Done.

But PR is so different, so multi-layered, so broad and so deep. Another interesting point is that even people who claim they work in PR or are PR professionals have very different ideas of what the job entails. That fascinates me as well as provides a little bit of confusion on the part of the everyday student who thinks they’re getting a job in PR.

I believe Stuart Smith, CEO of Edelman PR Europe, said it very well to my class in London this past May (2005) when he said there were two types of PR, the arms and legs bit, and the brains bit. The arms and legs are the functions of PR that write news releases, that call reporters trying to pitch stories, that create the daily pieces that you eventually see in action. The brains consist of the strategies, the communication plans, the goals, objectives, and matricies that make it all go together.

I suppose one could say any job entails these characteristics, but there’s something about PR that seems so elusive, so intangible, so ethereal, that it really helps to talk about it.

And that’s why I’ve created this blog. I’m hoping to turn this into a discussion, a conversation, not just a spouting of personal beliefs or reiteration of information. I have a feeling that there are other students of PR, or practitioners of PR, or general members of the electronic community who have questions about PR. With that in mind, I’m going to write what’s on my mind and what I think is important…for starters. I’m going to enlist the help of fellow students to help generate discussion and open the floor to comments, questions, and concerns. Feel free to join in.

As a disclaimer, I have to tell you that what I’m really intrigued about these days is electronic communication, thus the blog. I find that PR mixes in so well with electronic communication for so many reasons. In fact, I’m writing my graduate project on the subject. What also interests me is the growing gap between the early innovators of new media and those who are laggards in the adoption process. I’m hoping my colleague Carol can shed some light on that subject. My point is, in NE Ohio where I’m located, we appear to be far behind in the technological aspects of electronic communication in our departments, and in many of the industries and organizations in the area. I may be wrong, but it certainly appears that way to me.

With that in mind, I’m signing off for now. I hope to see you again soon, participating in the discussion, and learning, and sharing your knowledge with others. There is so much going on out there…we need to keep up. Help me.

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