What I Want To Do

When looking into choices for a career overall, the field of public relations is what really came across as an interesting path to choose for me.  I like the idea of maintaining a public, positive image for a company, person or firm. The communication with other publics to keep a good and consistent relationship going smoothly is something that attracted me to this career choice as well.  I also like the aspect of writing for whatever or whomever I represent, whether that is press releases, memos or other forms of written work. The biggest aspect of public relations that interested me overall would have to be the broad spectrum of jobs you could choose from.
            I am interested in becoming a publicist for a famous figure or company. Publicists are generally the ‘cheerleader’ for their company or person they are representing. To be more specific, their core goal is to make whatever or whomever they are representing well-known through various tactics involving the media. One of these tactics, for example, could be press releases that are shown to the masses, and, more importantly, to journalists that will produce stories about their client. Press releases might be about new developments or new projects that their client is involved in, and that will spark an interest to the press. Publicists have other things to do as well, such as maintaining good-standing relationships with other journalists, in order to ensure that there will be a story about their client. These people have to do their research and figure out the best way to get their client out there to the public, such as publishing their story to a magazine related to their client, or a poster displayed in a place that will attract the right kind of people. A typical day in a publicists’ work is identifying the most effective and interesting publics for their client, in order to achieve the best publicity results. They also must analyze these audiences, such as their concerns or what they like. They must maintain a positive image for their client, creating an impressive public awareness through the client’s actions, and what they say. Publicists also conduct research from the public’s reactions, and communicate with their client the results that come up. A lot of their work also involves writing and preparing for speeches, press releases, advertisements, television spots, posters, brochures, newspapers, websites, and other forms of media. They also prepare and design public events, conferences and promotions.  Journalists are a huge part of a publicists’ job, as they need to create a consistent relationship with them in order to print or broadcast their material.  A day in the life of a publicist is not easy, as it is constantly changing and shifting. They do not have a nine-to-five day. Their schedule is erratic, and they must be flexible with whatever is given to them. Constant traveling is another factor, with huge deadlines, and also keeping overall good relationships with the media, the public, and their client.  Publicists could work for anyone or anything; a celebrity, organization, company or government figure. As far as training goes, choosing to be a public relations major is a plus, yet there are no “specific educational guidelines. Publicists usually have university degrees or college diplomas in journalism or communications. However, since the industry can be quite general, expertise in public affairs, English, business, marketing and advertising are also quite valuable” (Schoolsintheusa.com). Internships at local companies or organizations to get basic experience are a must, for example, a government communications department or a public relations firm.
            Publicists can work with multiple publics. Their main priorities are journalists, editors, and other people along these lines to get their story out there and to really create a great headline for whomever they are representing.  They also network with bloggers through the social media sites to get internet coverage of their potential client, and form relationships in this way as well. For example, a publicist could arrange an interview or a Q and A for whomever they are representing for their largest fan site. Publicists, in order to maintain successful relationships with their publics, need excellent communication skills, and have to be outgoing. They have to create an easygoing, polite, and easy-to-talk-to image for themselves in order to invite more communication for their client. If their client were to be interviewed on television, the publicist asks for the questions from the interviewer beforehand to properly assemble what their client should say in response to them. The answers would be mature, polite and nothing that will cause controversy. Publicists live for the flexible, long hours of their work days, so maintaining relationships with multiple publics is usually not a problem, as they are used to it day-by-day.  They might have meetings with multiple editors, journalists and television producers.
            I am most interested in becoming a publicist for a celebrity or other form of public figure. I am interested in this area of public relations for the sole reason of communication. I feel like I have the personality and manner to perfectly mold myself into this world of public relations. The thought of maintaining a positive, consistent image for a potential client is appealing to me. I also like the fact that there is no schedule for publicists; they could be assembling answers for an interview on television one day, and then doing extensive research the next. They could be in their local area one week, and by the next, they are out of the country, forming more relationships for their client.  I would love to get an internship through a public relations firm in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, to get some experience and have my foot in the door for this career choice.
                                                                        Works Cited

1) N/A. “Career: Publicist.” Publicist. The Princeton Review, 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012.             <http://www.princetonreview.com/Careers.aspx?cid=132&gt;.

2) Deahl, Rachel. “Publicist.” About.com Media Careers. About, 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012.             <http://mediacareers.about.com/od/mediajobprofiles/a/Publicist.htm&gt;.

3) N/A. “Publicist.” Publicist. QuinStreet, 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012.             <http://www.schoolsintheusa.com/careerprofiles_details.cfm?carid=817&gt;.Image


Profile Piece


Eccentric and brimming with energy, James Thurman sits down at his desk after a day of visual art design classes. Objects made out of resin, recycled paper and other various knick-knacks stare back at him. He is planning his next art lesson as a professor at the University of North Texas. But the university is not the only place getting affected by his artwork.
            James Thurman and his wife born in Eastern Turkey are helping Turkish women create objects to sell to help them and their families. 
            Thurman’s dream of making an impact with his art is coming true through the project he has developed in Turkey.
            His passion has always been art and making objects in creative ways, even as a child.
            “I had a lot of unstructured time when I was younger… I was an only child and was always making things,” Thurman said. He was given his own workbench to enjoy in his own bedroom. He was always altering his toys and creating new ones.
             In school, Thurman excelled in the areas of science and math, but he felt no motivation toward the subjects.
            After Thurman earned his master’s of fine arts at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI in 2000 he was offered a full-time job at Penn State as an art professor.
            The art program at Penn State, however, was underdeveloped. “Budgets [were] steadily getting cut year after year, and there were only a couple hundred students by fall of 2010,” he said.
            After nine years there, he started looking elsewhere. A job offer from UNT came across his search at just the right time. He checked the program out and immediately knew this was where he was meant to be. It was perfect for him.
            “I just really loved the overall atmosphere and culture in Denton. I loved the art program,” he said.
            Here he teaches jewelry and metalsmithing.
            “Metalsmithing is basically designing and tinkering objects, forming things. It could be anything, from jewelry, tableware, candlesticks, to sculpture and to chairs,” Thurman said.         His students know Thurman and his work fairly well.
            “Mr. Thurman is a major influence to me personally and what I want to do in my jewelry-making career,” said Lyndsey Rieple, one of Thurman’s studio apprentices. “He is incredibly resourceful and also helps you with plans for the future.”
            Thurman likes to help students think about their careers beyond the classroom.
             “I just never wanted to be a boring teacher. I want to talk to my students about finding their path in the future, and didn’t want uncertainty from them,” Thurman said.
            Art major Cala Coats assists Thurman with his 3-D design classes.
            “James is a remarkable instructor and mentor.  He encourages his students to find their individual potential.  His open and inventive approaches to life and art are truly inspiring,” she says.
            Thurman’s unique talent, charisma and overall positive attitude with the students on campus did not go unnoticed. Even in a country thousands of miles away.
            Thurman’s wife, Umut Demirgüç Thurman, teaches and lives in Turkey. She eventually invited him to teach at an art workshop in eastern Turkey last May.    
            A teacher there representing a women’s co-operative called the ÇATOM (Multi-Purpose Community Center) invited him to teach Turkish women how to create their own masterpieces.
            One of Thurman’s inventions, called “Thurmanite” is a wooden-looking object that was just a joke at first. But this creation, made out of epoxy resin and wood, turned out to be one of the objects that would help women in Turkey reach their own potential and turn into something successful.
            Thurman later realized these women co-operatives were changing lives. Through his inspiration and Thurmanite, women in Turkey were becoming financially independent because they learned a specific art technique, made their own objects that were more composite, and sold them to help support their families.
            Although Turkey is not conservative, a general expectation of women’s roles, such as supporting and being dependent on their husband, is still present.
            “When they divorce, they don’t know what to do,” Thurman said.
            The government of Turkey created the women co-operatives in order to change that. They grant women money, health-care, food and other necessities. What began in 1995, sprouted to about 30 throughout eastern Turkey.
            Because of Thurman’s expertise, these women are creating art, jewelry and everything in-between as a means to earn more money and teach artistic skills to each other.
            So far, there has been no opposition. Any opportunity they can get to expand their market and garner more awareness is considered a good omen to them.
             These organizations also help young girls receive grant money for their education, help with nonprofits, and create fundraising for their co-operatives.
            Thurman and his wife help translate written materials, and help them reach English-speaking markets with their creations.
            What Thurman is doing has inspired his students back in Denton.
            “That is what I want to do, getting into non-profit by helping women through art and jewelry-making. I’d love to go to Turkey and get involved,” Rieple said.
             Thurman has a website, http://www.turkcraft.org, which helps promote The ÇATOM Project to English speakers. He hopes to raise more awareness to the project through this site.