PR Consultant

There are two different types of public relations consultants. One is an independent consultant and the other is a public relations consultant who works for a consultancy.

            An independent consultant works independently with many clients at one time. Because they don’t work for a consultancy, they are more flexible because they are not tied down to one consultancy.

            When public relations consultants work in one building, this is known as a public relations consultancy. They vary in size and provide service to other organizations.

            There are benefits to working both ways. As an independent consultant you are your own boss, free to make your own choices. However, working on a consultancy means you may have a boss there is more job security.

            There are many reasons a person would hire a public relations consultant, independent or consultancy. From an architectural point of view, projects and deadlines can eat much of an architect’s time and therefore there are many missed public relations opportunities. But once a public relations consultant is hired, the architect can concentrate on the projects at hand, and not have to worry about missed public relation opportunities.

            A public relation consultant builds a relationship with their clients, or people involved in the organization. They are effective communicators, good at problem solving and can see multiple points-of-view. They can work in different types of companies, such as corporations, non-profit organizations, the government, education, entertainment, or finance.

Some of the duties of a public relations consultant include working for their clients, with what is needed by the client or organization. These duties may include things such as getting people to attend an event, to get more publicity, crisis management, getting people to donate to their charity or buy their product

As a public relations consultant, there are a few tips to help consultants along the way. Some of these include don’t try to meet everyone’s concept of perfection, have a short-term focus with a long-term goal and be biased towards action.



Here are some websites to check out:


This is a job profile of a PR Consultant:


This is a blog about beginning a career in public relations. It is written by Kelly Papinchak.


This is another blog by Steven Newton.


This is “10 steps to a fab job as a public relations consultant”


                                                                                       –Cherie Borho


November 11, 2006 at 8:52 pm 4 comments

Disaster Relief and PR

This world has seen its hard times and with the disasters that go on, this world still manages to come together and raise awareness and money to help those countries or cities in need.

It seems through globalization, the world is more supportive then it used to be. You would think that with all the cynics out there, no one would be willing to help, but with natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and terrorist attacks on the World
Trade Center, the world seems much more giving when it comes to donating money. It’s good to know that the people who suffer are not alone, there are individuals and organizations willing to help.

Technology has advanced over the centuries. We used to get our news from horse and carriage and Morse code, and for a long time, radio was the only source of broadcasting the news. Now we can watch televised events and actually see what is going on overseas and with various wars. With minute-by-minute updated news websites such as or, PR practitioners are consistently informed about what is going on overseas. Also, with email, text messaging and BlackBerries, PR practitioners can keep in communication with others 24/7. With more and more advancements of technology, PR practitioners, and everyone for that matter, will not be hindered, but helped in getting information heard around the world.

– Jennifer Calvin (edited by Michael Brown)


November 9, 2006 at 8:44 pm 4 comments

Public Relations in China

By this point in our lives I’m sure we are all very familiar with the phrase, “Made in China,” found on the objects and articles that litter our lives.  We’ve probably heard of the booming economy and exploding population in that country too.  However, if you are like me, you probably don’t think of public relations as a Chinese phenomenon.  The fact is, despite the Communist political and economic policies that control Chinese markets, PR in China has been expanding dramatically, and is becoming “the fastest-growing PR market in the world.”  

During the eighties and nineties, the Communist government in China began to implement economic reform policies, modernize government agencies and open up opportunities for private sector enterprises.  Initially, public relations programs were used to publicize the state and promote corporate images in China’s business community.  Later, massive publicity campaigns were undertaken to encourage investment in Chinese markets from both domestic and international stakeholders.  As multinational companies began to move into China, PR was required to market international products to the Chinese and then Chinese products to the rest of the world.  

Besides loosening economic restrictions by joining the World Trade Organization in 2001, China has also been relaxing its tight control over the media.  Since PR in China has been utilizing marketing and branding techniques to target the billions of potential consumers in the country, these recent political developments have been essential for the development of foreign media and PR in the country.  As noted before, PR in China is moving from public affairs into marketing and branding territory. International companies have discovered that despite being raised in a Communist nation, the Chinese are increasingly interested in the consumer market and many of the younger generation can now, literally, afford to be brand conscious. As PR practitioners move into Chinese markets, they must be culturally sensitive. It is essential for PR practitioners to be aware of the history, culture, and values of the specific Chinese market they are targeting before developing a communications plan. Further, research suggests that it is very important, as a multinational company, to hire and develop Chinese talent. Essentially, the one way the PR in China will be most effective is if it becomes Chinese.

It is important to remember at all times that despite its capitalistic economic progress, China is still a country under powerful Communist rule and PR practitioners must be willing to work within the laws and guides of the government.  While the government has relaxed media legislation, they still have the ability to control the content.  In order to have effective media relations and economic movement in that country, practitioners must stay within the boundaries of the regime. Despite the challenges, the growing field of PR in China has endless opportunities. As students entering the PR field, hopefully our knowledge of this country will come to encompass more than just the “Made in China” products that we own. 


For More Online Information, check out these articles:

November 8, 2006 at 7:09 pm 3 comments

Personal Digital Assistant’s (PDAs)

What is a PDA?

The Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) is a lightweight, hand-held computer designed for use as a personal organizer with communications capabilities; also called a handheld. Since their introduction in the last decade of the twentieth century, personal digital assistants (PDAs) have become useful tools for personal information management.  

A PDA is a Useful Tool for PR Practitioners

For a Public Relations practitioner a PDA can be a wonderful device. Instead of having a different device for each piece of technology that they need a PR practitioner would benefit much more by just using one PDA. PDA’s can be the digital equivalent of the day planner business professionals and especially PR practitioners would need to keep in their pocket. In fact, they can help with much more. With to-do lists, calendars and phone numbers all at a touch of a button, even the most unorganized individuals can improve their efficiency and effectiveness. The PDA is a useful tool for PR practitioners to schedule meetings, and make sure they are not late for them. For people who work in the field or travel frequently, a PDA can save time and keep them or their team in touch with the office. Since the PDA allows for information on the go, people within the public relations profession will be able to be informed and have everything they need at their fingertips. By logging data and transmitting it electronically to the server database, paperwork does not pile up and work gets processed on a regular basis. Since Public Relations practitioners are constantly communicating there is easy access to it through their PDA. Through e-mail, synchronized address books and calendars, professionals and their employees can find each other quickly, schedule meetings, and act on business matters immediately. By using this new technology tool efficiently, they can create a sense of coordination, timing and rhythm so that their hectic days will be more organized.  

Websites to Check Out  ~Carly

November 8, 2006 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment

Corporate Social Responsibility

 Due to the changing climate in the business environment, corporations must become actively involved in enriching society and the global surroundings in which they operate.  There is now an expectation that corporations have a responsibility to society as well as to creating economic value for the company.  By doing so, organizations have the opportunity to reap benefits both internally and externally.

By becoming involved with social projects an organization will improve its reputation by demonstrating it is a contributor to enhancing the world in which it operates.  A positive reputation has numerous advantages for the external environment, which has the potential to increase the bottom line.  It has been proven that if publics view a corporation as ethical they are more likely to purchase its products and services or invest in the organization. Ethical behaviour allows a company increased access to new markets as well as inspiring loyalty within already established markets.  Furthermore, illustrating a willingness to contribute displays more suitability for investment to the private and institutional investment community.   Regulatory agencies are more inclined to expedite red-tape issues for ethical corporations as well.  This in turn will save money on delays.  Agencies also like to see that organizations are willing to address issues that are important to stakeholders.

Internal benefits are also abundant for companies that choose to become socially responsible. First, it promotes better strategic management by emphasizing a long-term view.  This enables the corporation to better foresee challenges that can become a crisis.  A long-term view also presents options that may have been discarded because they did not meet short term goals.  In addition, improved strategic management is very appealing to financial organizations.  Included in internal benefits is improvement in employee relations.  Employees feel increased loyalty to a corporation with which they are proud to be associated.  Volunteer work can introduce or improve important job-related skills such as, leadership, cooperation and problem-solving. 

It is up to the public relations practitioner to devise a social responsibility program that would best suit the needs of not only society but also the organization in which he or she is employed.  The practitioner has the task of informing stakeholders and the media of the good work that the corporation performs.  It is important that the company can provide information to anyone who requests it.  It’s the professional’s duty to convey the organization’s vision through the appropriate channels.

Corporate social responsibility is a reciprocal relationship that benefits not only society but also the organization itself.  It is a crucial element for any company that wants to thrive in the present business community.

To learn more about corporate social responsibility:

Christa Dickson

November 8, 2006 at 12:53 am Leave a comment

Teacher observations – week three

Well, we are now in our third week of the class blogging assignment and from my teacher perspective the project is moving along nicely. Yesterday’s blog stats showed that we have had around 1500 views and an all time one day viewing of 182. The stats counter indicates that it does not count my own views in the stats and most days I look several times – so the stats are really even higher. I was away from email from Wednesday evening to Sunday evening this week and we went from 888 views to the 1500 in that four day period. Yeah. The number of visits tells me people in the class are actively participating.

One thing I have enjoyed is seeing the positive reinforcement/constructive criticism that students are giving to one another. It is encouraging to read that students are impressed with other people’s research and/or writing styles. A few people have ventured into including graphics – I enjoyed that. Truly, we are learning together. Some people are having fun with the project – a bonus.

We spoke in class yesterday about student perceptions on the blogging experiment. Positive feedback included that students enjoy reading the writing of other people in the class, they are learning new information on many topics, some of the topics and links will be useful to them, the class assignment forced them to blog, and they enjoy giving and receiving feedback. The knowledge that other people outside the class were looking at the blog was also a positive for the majority.– Jump in, class, if I left off items here…

Not so positive experiences included that the class assignment forced them to blog, some people did not feel comfortable with blogging, and figuring out formatting could be frustrating. Comments were made about how some people felt ‘creatively stifled’ and were using self censorship in postings and comments. We discussed the concept that most of the class is used to instant messaging or casual emailing and little formality. The situation imposed formality and self censorship. -Again, if I have missed something that was discussed I hope someone in the class will comment further on this section.

Wearing my teacher hat I have to say that many of our posts have typos and grammatical errors. Those do need to be tidied up.  I have assigned groups in the class to edit posts and try to fix formatting for next week. Other teachers in the program have been teaching that everything must be edited first. Once people are graduates and out working typos are not options.

We talked about the formality of blogs in class and the students perceptively commented that to be formal and correct is to give up some freedom. However, we also spoke about how writing accuracy can increase reader perceptions of content credibility.

We have not included many tags yet, but I think that will come. Once all of the assigned posts are up – the due date is next Monday – class traffic to the blog may slow down. After the assignment period I’d like to see posts and conversation continue and for us to continue to learn blogging etiquette and to have others visit and converse.


November 7, 2006 at 10:57 pm 1 comment

Public Relations Firms

     Public Relations firms have been around for over a century. One century and six years to be exact. The very first Public Relations firm was opened in 1900 and was located in Boston Massachusetts.  The “Publicity Bureau” (which it was known as) was put together by former newspapermen. It was no surprise when writers and staff members of the papers formed the firms because until PR was established, newspapers were how organizations communicated with the public.

     After the Publicity Bureau took off, other firms started developing. William Wolf Smith opened in Washington, and another firm was opened by a well known practitioner named Ivy Lee. Lee and George F. Parker opened their firm, which became the most popular publicity bureau of its time. Even though it only stayed open for four years, it helped to kick start Lee’s career.

     Public Relations agencies are primarily responsible for getting the attention of the public and letting them know what is going on with the organization they work for. They employ practitioners to deal with the public, problem solve and help companies handle any problems that may arise.

     PR firms and PR practitioners go hand in hand. You cannot have an agency without practitioners to work in it. Great practitioners have emerged from great agencies where they have acquired the hands on experience that made them great. There is no doubt that college and university is indispensable, but joining an agency and getting to work with other people in the same field is where you really learn if you have what it takes to do the job. The great thing about Public Relations firms is that it gives the practitioners a chance to talk to other practitioners and learn from them.

– Caitlin Yearwood (Edited by, Kim Resendes)

Helpful Websites

Council of Public Relations Firms 

All About Public Relations 

 PR Firms Directory

November 7, 2006 at 8:40 pm 4 comments

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