Heading into the PDXSX program, the cohorts were warned about challenges we would face: moving to a new city, learning professionalism and staying motivated through our last term in college. So far, the most difficult part of the PDXSX process for me has been what to write for this particular blog post. I want to explain the realities of working for a well-known corporation, but I want to protect my employer. I need to address the experience I had recently with a crisis but remain professional. I would like to pass on worldly advice but, in reality, I am just as loss as my first day as a college freshman.
In times of tragedy, reporters have to stay composed no matter the circumstance. We, as public relations professionals (in-training), learn that we are the voice of an organization regardless of our personal feelings. Depending on the industry we work in, we may or may not play the role of a spokesperson, but we always craft the message that they will use.
We must control our own emotions and remain sympathetic and relatable to the public. We can neither bare every secret nor become disconnected. See a pattern? The trick is to find the happy medium. We have to be thoughtful about what we say and our actions. No matter how bewildering it may be for someone to ask you, a lowly intern, how the multi-billion company you work for will respond to a certain situation, you still have to play the role and communicate the right message.
Even writing a 300-word blog post can take an hour or two, just to make sure you don’t say anything stupid. All I can do is take a deep breath, smile and remember who I am and what I represent.