Is public relations a good career choice in South Africa?
ublic relations affects almost everyone who has contact with other human beings. All of us, in one way or another practise public relations daily. For an organisation, every phone call, every letter, every face-to-face encounter is a public relations event (Seitel 2001:8).
Does this mean that anybody can be a public relations specialist?
Unfortunately not. Public relations management has become a profession that requires a high level of education and training.
In the modern business environment, public relations form an integral part of the marketing strategy of many business organisations.
The constant interaction public relations practitioners have with stakeholders, both internally and externally, makes a significant contribution towards establishing a favourable image among customers and clients. Due to the dynamic nature of the profession, public relations have become recognized by the community at large as a profession of high standing. The credibility of organisations is directly affected by the actions and decisions of their public relations practitioners.
What can I do with the qualification?
Once qualified, public relations practitioners will be able to perform a variety of public relations tasks and functions, such as writing press releases, organising special events, liaising with the media, implementing internal and external communication programmes, lobbying, and conducting opinion research surveys. The list is endless, and will depend upon what kind of company or institution the practitioner chooses to work in.
The scope of modern public relations practice is vast, and qualified practitioners can choose from virtually any type of organisation or institution that interests them. Alternatively, they can choose to work as a public relations consultant once they have gained sufficient experience.