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By: Chelsea Dowling

After dressing up and celebrating Halloween this past week, I realized how similar a career in public relations and Halloween can be. I’m not tricking you! See if you think these examples are wicked!

It takes a lot of planning… PR and Halloween require planning. Throughout my four years at Michigan State, my friends and I have spent hours thinking of and crafting the perfect Halloween parties and costumes with all the right details. PR professionals spend days creating strategic public relations plans to help clients reach their goals.

It is creative… To find the perfect Halloween costume (scary, silly, cute, sexy, etc.) the creativity must be flowing! The best costumes are always the most creative, unique ones, as are the most innovative, effective public relations plans.

You get to wear different costumes… In a college town it is not unlikely to have multiple costumes to wear throughout the week of Halloween. Just like Halloween, PR allows you to “wear” different “costumes.” One day you may be a social media genius, the next day you are media relations master and the next you are helping a client rebrand their organization. There is always an opportunity to try something new or wear a different costume.

It is a team effort… If you see a group of people dressed up as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, but only see four dwarves, something’s missing. To make a group costume work, everyone needs to be involved and engaged. PR works just the same. Each team member needs to be an active participant to help the client or organization be successful.

It can be scary… Some like to take the scary route on Halloween. PR can be a scary industry. Pitching a story to a reporter or owning up to a mistake can be a nerve-racking experience. Know that those dressed up as zombies are just in costume (and may regret that costume when they see pictures on Facebook) and in PR, you will make mistakes, but it is important to learn from them.

It can be funny… Some people like to be silly on Halloween. PR is full of goofy, fun people. You are bound to experience some laughs, especially after working late or during a brainstorming session.

It is all about the presentation… How the public perceives your client or organization is driven by how public relations professionals brand the client or organization. How the public interprets your Halloween costume relies on how effectively you put your costume together

Trick or treat…  In PR, there are a lot of “tricks.” By having a crisis communication plan you will be ready to effectively handle any kind of trick that gets in your way. There are also a lot of treats; working in a field that you love with people who are just as passionate as you are is better than any candy passed out on Halloween.

Hello hangover… Whether you get a Reese’s hangover or if you stayed out celebrating a little bit too late, you might not feel too hot the next day. Like Halloween, PR makes it easy to get so indulged in a project that we work overtime or even celebrate a successful week at happy hour with our co-workers. It is no surprise to find ourselves feeling a little bit run down after a long week of planning, execution and fun!

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