A University of Alabama study examined how and why students chose public relations as their major and found that most respondents stated they chose public relations because they liked to plan events and they liked people.

Public relations is about interacting with people who communicate by texts, emails, wall postings and Twitter feeds. What you write has a lot more to do with it than how many friends you have.

Social media are primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information. No longer is public relations based on shaking hands and handing out business cards. Connections are important, but how fast your Internet connection is can make or break you. Having the latest information is key.

A regular day at the office consists of blogging, updating client websites and social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter, posting videos and releases, reading all the Internet, print and broadcast clips that come in and distributing them to clients mentioned in the articles, sending out press releases and answering media requests for accommodations and attractions.

Being a people person is such a small part of what it takes. Public relations is not about you, it’s about your client.

My advice to any student interested in pursuing a career in this industry is to get several internships early on in their studies and focus on their writing. Be up to date on all the social media venues and practice getting your thoughts out in 140 characters or less.

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