Why I chose PR – #PRConf16

Written by Georgia Ward, PRINZ Student Ambassador

(Georgia Ward, PRINZ Student Ambassador AUT; Kirsty Pickett; Deanna Morse, PRINZ Student Ambassador, University of Waikato).

The PRINZ Student Ambassador Programme allows students studying relevant qualifications to become involved and engaged in the communication and public relations industry. The programme gives students a head-start in the industry, encouraging them to participate in the PRINZ community. This blog post is written by Georgia Ward, PRINZ Student Ambassador at AUT University, Auckland.

It has been a month since I was lucky enough to attend the recent PRINZ conference ‘Challenge to Opportunity’ as a Student Volunteer.

Hearing lines such as " What got you here won't get you there!" or "If you do what you always do, you're always going to get what you get" come from industry professionals Chris Savage, The Savage Company and Sean Smith, Isentia was inspiring and at times a little overwhelming.

You see, at the risk of sounding clichéd, those lines have rung in my ears for weeks after.

For myself and the other students that attended, it was an eye-opening experience into not only what we're getting ourselves into, but why we're getting ourselves into it.

Firstly, the desire to work hard and achieve visible results.

I've learnt quickly that the euphoria of dreams and desires in this industry is replaced with hard work, tenacity and drive - without those three things any goals, dreams and desires do not become reality.

For the majority of students, our definition of working hard is juggling full-time university, with an internship, work experience and paid employment, as well as finding time to sleep in amongst there as well.

In the big wide communication world, this is, of course, different.

Students, there are times when it may seem unimaginable and never ending, but those hours of work, commitment, and content creation are what leads to the moment that allows each of us students to create our own personal brand, brand ‘YOU’. A brand we get to take out into the industry, showcasing who we are as individuals in the communication world.

As Chris Savage of the Savage Company said: "What got you here – won't get you there". Good things in this day and age come to those who hustle, and this hustle to achieve results can take you and your client great places!

Secondly, PR allows you to be creative and innovative.

Creating generic campaigns does not cut it in this fast-paced world. Now, quirky, fun, experimental and challenging campaigns create the engagement and results that clients and businesses love to see! It's a case of old tricks reinvented. Experimenting with the channels, content and messaging can lead to greater results in the long run.

We've entered a new world that is rapidly changing thanks to new media. Audience fragmentation is greater than ever, and having the ability to rapidly think and adapt to new and exciting situations can put you one step ahead of the person sitting next to you.

From media kits to experiential campaigns; boundaries and ideas are being pushed every day and it is so inspiring to be the one who generally gets to pack those media kits up, and see what awesome stuff is created! I see it as knowing the old; creating the new.

Finally, impact.

For myself, one of the key decisions in choosing PR is the impact it can have on people’s everyday life. Sadly, it is often referred to as spin, however, thanks to organisations such as PRINZ this is slowly being diminished.

The Research First breakfast on the second day of the conference confirmed that many professionals in this industry complete pro bono work on a regular basis. The question of “Why do we do it?” was posed.

It makes us feel good knowing we can use our skills to help someone else. The relationship PRINZ has with the Community Comms Collective and the response by PRINZ members to the Manurewa Marae's call for help are just two recent examples.

Whether it is promoting a new product that a brand you represent has launched; or communicating the success a charity has had in order for them to retain their lifeblood sponsorship; PR has an impact on everything and everyone in between.

Like all those who I sat in the conference room listening to speakers, workshops, or asking questions to learn more, we all have the same innate desire and determination to help people grow success in this world through communication.

With that, I leave you with the silence-inducing words at Conference of Stacey Shortall, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts: "Who did you help today?".