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A letter to public relations students

By Gary Bridgens | Posted: May 17, 2017

This article was originally published on PR Daily in June 2016. 

As many PR pros might prefer—I’ll keep this letter short, sweet and to the point.

A typical PR executive might not be known for making big bucks. Although some vocations—such as software programming or engineering—have more fiscally rewarding entry-level positions, they lack the certain je ne sais quoi that makes PR the best preparatory profession for learners and leaders.

If you haven’t done so already, here’s why you should immerse yourself in a public relations education:

Seeing change through narrative

Many PR pros are perfectly equipped to bring about significant change in the many communities we populate. As ambassadors, we aren’t just members of the working world, we’re a driving force behind trends, cultures and the interpretation of societal issues.

RELATED: New tactics to incorporate storytelling into your everyday writing.

Working in PR is about crafting and honing a narrative, whether it be in an advocacy or consumer-facing setting. Who doesn’t want to be known as one of the world’s best storytellers?

Thriving under pressure

A well-trained PR practitioner is the model professional. We know how to express our thoughts with eloquence and handle difficult situations with tact. We understand markets, business models and clients’ needs. We can see the big picture and deconstruct it into a well-fashioned strategic plan.

We’re capable, but we’re also team players and have no problem sharing our victories. We are invested in the outcomes and real-world impact of our work.

A lesson in integrity

My message to prospective or burgeoning public relations students is simple: Stay the course, and reap the benefits of the craft. The hours are long, the work is tedious and, initially, the pay may seem unsatisfactory. However, there is no other profession that will teach you growth the way this one does.

As the future of the industry, you owe it to your friends, mentors and future selves to do your jobs passionately. Act ethically, work hard, and learn as much as you can. One day, that paycheck will be representative of your perseverance and devotion.

Gary Bridgens is the outgoing vice president of chapter development for PRSSA National. A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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