I was fortunate enough to have an experience unlike most, a story that went big and received a lot more attention than I am used to in my day-to-day life as a student at UNC Chapel Hill. But, as Spiderman would say, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
I quote Spiderman here because that is how I felt the past two weeks. Sure, it was awesome and a journalism student’s dream to have my story featured on NBCNews.com and a segment on the 11:00 WRAL nightly news. But, it was also exhausting.
I truly experienced my own personal public relations crisis. So, as a Journalism and Mass Communication student with a PR focus, this was nothing less than a perfect twist of fate.
It may sound silly, but trying to balance my blog, email responses, interview requests and friends asking me about my story and leads ON TOP of school became exhausting. For four days I was constantly on my phone, laptop and iPad trying to sort out what to do next with my professor’s assistance, of course. I honestly have never slept so well in my life those nights.
I felt rushed because I know that in news you have to act quickly. One day your story could be hot and the next no one could blink an eye at it. I responded to as many news stations and newspapers that I could in my busy school day full of classes.
The experience showed me that I have in fact chosen the right career path. The past two weeks have been unpredictable, yet exciting and enjoyable. I would thrive in the crazy life of a PR specialist maintaining blogs, creating news releases and helping with damage control when an issue is at hand.
I know it is tough to relate a short moment in the spotlight to one of a large company like Nike, Coca-Cola or the Miami Heat, but it’s a start.
I was lucky to have experienced this PR crisis in a time when I am still young and learning. I was able to discuss possible options with my professor, yet still have the ability to make my own decisions and speak for myself at the end of the day.
The lessons of maintaining proper etiquette, making sure your words won’t be misconstrued and being in the spotlight (even if it is for two days) are things that cannot be overlooked. The power of representing someone and creating the perfect image through media is one that involves great responsibility.
Let’s be real, is Spiderman ever wrong?