Your Top 5 Most Googled Questions About PR, Answered

Public relations is a multi-faceted field that can be hard to define. Whether you’re dipping your toes into a PR career or a prospective client wondering what the world of PR is all about, you’ve got questions—and what better place to find questions than Google?

We’re answering Google’s top five most searched questions about PR and giving you a bit of agency insight along the way.

“Is public relations a good major?”

The foundation of public relations is very simple: it’s the art of communication! A PR major is often part of a university’s journalism, marketing or communications department. Those who are pursuing a degree in public relations can expect to take classes on communication theory, journalism, media relations, writing and more.

If you want to know if public relations is the right fit for you, ask yourself these questions:

  • “Do I like to write?”
  • “Do I like to spend my time being creative?”
  • “Do I have strong people skills?”
  • “Do I enjoy reading the latest news about politics, healthcare, finance, entertainment, etc.?”
  • “Am I able to write strong articles or stories under tight deadlines?”


If the answer to most of these questions is yes, PR may be the perfect fit for you! According to reports by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the public relations industry are expected to increase by 11% between 2020 and 2030.

“Why is public relations beneficial to businesses?”

Public relations has many benefits to any and every business across all industries, but there are two strong factors you should consider:

  • PR increases visibility

Making a business visible to the public is critical. PR campaigns are traditionally put in place to establish visibility for products and services, as well as establish companies as thought leaders. It can also be used for increasing presence online via SEO and social media.

  • PR establishes credibility

To have a positive reputation, companies need to be strategic about how they communicate their brand to the public. The more that a company is in the media in a positive light, the more trustworthiness they create with the public.

“Is public relations the same as marketing?”

One of the most debated questions in our industry is whether PR is a part of marketing or not. To make a long story short: the line between PR and marketing can sometimes be quite thin.

Marketing is the process of selling products or services, whereas in PR, we like to say we are “story sellers.” We aren’t selling products or services; we are selling the story about the product or the service to a journalist or an audience. What makes a product so great? What is the deeper story behind this new restaurant’s expansion?

PR is an industry that relies heavily on relationships. Professionals like us are essentially trying to build the best relationship possible between our clients’ businesses and their audiences.

“How does public relations work?”

Public relations uses multiple forms of media to create and tell a story about a brand. PR professionals pitch story ideas and interviews to members of the media to gauge their interest in covering a story—amplifying it to each of their extensive audiences.

The process of PR usually happens like this:

  1. A PR professional (“Publicist”) pitches a story idea to a journalist.
  2. The journalist decides whether they want to cover the story.
  3. The publicist coordinates the interview/story between the client and the journalist, determining best times for an interview, establishing talking points for the interview, sending the journalist photos and more.
  4. The journalist publishes a story (Whether it’s via TV broadcast, radio broadcast, print news, online news, magazine, podcast, etc.)
  5. Everyone celebrates!

“Is public relations free?”

Public Relations is a form of earned media, meaning the company does not have to pay for the interview, article, etc. Earned media success is based on the types of stories a PR pro is pitching, the journalist’s willingness to write that specific story and the quality and quantity of pitches sent out to the media.

At TJA, we’ve found that quality pitches perform better than mass pitching to as many journalists as possible, but there are certainly philosophies in the industry that would advocate for the latter.

But that doesn’t mean PR is “free.” You’ll have to pay your PR professional to pitch and secure this earned media. However, the ultimate product—the article, TV segment, radio interview, etc.—is technically “free.”

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Want to learn more about how public relations can benefit your company or your career? Follow us on Instagram @thejamesagency or Contact Us.

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