Spreading the Word

March 17, 2011

Interning for a PR firm hasn’t shaped my outlook in the same way studying theology at Belmont University has, but it has completely changed the way I engage the world around me. Activities such as attending news conferences and participating in brainstorming sessions have made me more aware of the magnitude of messages that bombard us each day.

Theology and public relations might seem unrelated, but both disciplines utilize similar tactics to reach their respective ends. Each begins with an initial message: In theological pursuits, the process usually begins with a declaration or question that needs to be reaffirmed, rejected or investigated; PR practitioners begin their campaigns by identifying a specific aim, goal or message to be disseminated in a variety of ways.

Whether we’re hearing the “good news” of our religious traditions or hanging our heads in disappointment at the recent Super Bowl ads, we receive messages that actually influence our thought and behavior every day. As an intern at MP&F, I’ve learned to spot these messages and have even begun to recognize whether or not they are effective or well-crafted. (Judging from many of this year’s Super Bowl ads, many messages aren’t!)

From social media crusades to grassroots campaigns, every great movement to ever shift the cultural landscape began with that communicative utterance we call a message; chances are that message was clear, concise, specific and targeted. Interning at MP&F has shown me that a smart and earnest message must be at the core of every great campaign, and companies and organizations that don’t take the time to craft an effective and engaging message may not be worth consumers’ time, let alone their support.


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