Like many people in their careers, I have arrived at the crossroads.
Today was my last day of college. Today would be the day that I sit down and reevaluate my life. It would be the day I peer into my own soul without the outside noise of college homework, projects and tests slapping down every thought. There is a problem, though.
I already did it. Months ago, in fact.
It started when I chose to take Introduction to Public Relations as one of my last two electives. Within a few classes, my mind opened and my vision of the future was turned upside down.
I have been thinking about my position in life and the location I live in. The truth is that sports blogging and journalism in general doesn’t work for my future. Journalists have to do more than they ever have, yet they get paid less than they ever have. I was sure I was willing to not make much money with the hope of eventually becoming a sports writer, which would still not get me much money but I would enjoy my job. It was a pipe dream that I would have suffered through to maybe not achieve. I had never realized that.
I love writing more than anything in the world, but I don’t care for reporting. I don’t care to interview people who don’t want to talk to me and research topics that don’t interest me. The reporting would honestly only be fun for me if it was about sports. Writing about sports is a wonderful idea, but how many people get to actually do it? How many people actually make decent money doing it?
Public relations is a whole new world to me. It’s exciting and the field is comprised of so many different tasks. Social media, press release writing, publicizing, event planning, crisis management, and more are under the public relations umbrella. Journalism is get your story, research the topic, set up an interview, get quotes, write the story, add quotes, turn in the story, get it back with revisions, then turn it back in, and repeat. Over and over and over. The two-way communication model of PR is fascinating. Using SEO to pull the invisible strings of search engines is fascinating. Helping support causes and change the behavior of people is fascinating. We don’t just inform. We influence! How cool is that?
These are the median incomes for public relations jobs in 2012 and 2013. Note they are on the rise. (Graphic by: PRWeek US)
Even more importantly, public relations is getting bigger and bigger each year. The pay is also going up every year. There is money and a future there. I will actually be able to live comfortably with a public relations job. Money isn’t everything but it is something. I want to raise a family and live comfortably. I want to be able to go on vacations and buy nice things. Money is something.
What does this mean for you, my fans and readers? Well, it actually doesn’t mean much.
I love sports. I love watching sports and writing about sports. I have kept this blog up for years and I haven’t received even a penny for it. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I will keep writing about sports and I will keep tweeting about sports. I will just do it less.
I will be posting and tweeting about public relations from time to time. I have to get knowledgeable on the subject and I will be dedicating the rest of the summer to researching public relations, other than the time I put into my internship at Folio Weekly. I already have purchased six books about SEO, social media, and marketing. I also have subscribed to PR magazines and I have signed for countless PR newsletters. My goal is to be a transformed man by the end of summer. I am confident my base in writing, along with my new-found PR knowledge, will help me get my foot in the PR field.
Not too much will change, but this is worth mentioning. I have dedicated myself 100 percent to public relations. I hope this helps explain why.