December 01, 2011

A link from humanities to public relations

Who would have thought that taking a humanities course titled “Good and Evil” would have taught me so much that I could tie in with public relations practice? I’ll admit, I only took this course because my first choice (“Pop Culture”) was full, but I’m extremely glad I chose this as my backup. I’ve learned a lot, and even ended up writing a paper on Batman. What else could you ask for? As the semester is drawing to an end, though, I have realized that there are some themes I have learned in this abstract class that I can relate not only to my life in general, but to what I have been learning in my public relations courses. 

  1. Become who you are. This was a phrase made popular by German philosopher, Nietzsche, who really meant that you should figure out what your talents are and affirm them. Find out what your niche is in the public relations practice and go for that. Don’t let other people tell you any different. Only you know what you want.
  2. Dialogue is great… just make sure you know your audience. We studied Plato’s Gorgias, which had its interesting parts, and, to put it nicely, its not so interesting parts. What it did prove was that to “persuade” your audience, you need to research them and know how to communicate with them. Each public may have different values and you will need to tweak your communication style depending on the public. Socrates was an orator and didn’t really persuade his audience well. Maybe he should have taken a public relations course
  3.  Situations can define how we act. This was studied intensely by Philip Zimbardo who conducted the Stanford Prison Experiment. This idea confirmed that you should not just follow the rules or blindly obey people in authority. This idea ties in with what we have learned about ethics in public relations. You have to question what decisions you are making and whether you are just doing them because someone told you to. Public relations involves thinking critically about whether decisions you are making are ethical or not. Don’t let the situation you are in change your perception or your values.
 Have you learned anything in an abstract course like this one that tied in well with your focus of study?

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