Public Relations Professional Values and Competencies

The field of public relations is in the spotlight with the popularity of shows such as Scandal. Dreams of stepping into the shoes of Olivia Pope and doing whatever it takes to help your client fill the hearts and minds of many people across America. The reality is the field of PR is filled with professionals who abide by the values of the profession. The Public Relations Society of America clearly identifies PR’s core values: advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty and fairness. It is especially important to abide by these values when dealing with nonprofits. Our nonprofit is Big Buddy and if we don’t abide by our values, the backlash could hurt many of the kids who need the services Big Buddy provides. All of the values are relevant to our campaign but certain ones stand out to me more than others. Advocacy is the most important duty for us during this process. Big Buddy does great things for our community and it is essential that we take our position as a spokesperson very important. The next value that really hit home is expertise. As college students and millennials we possess expertise that older professionals don’t. Our ideas are fresh and our minds are open to best serve our client. Finally, fairness is essential when completing our campaign. We have to walk the line of giving our opinion but also understanding the stances of others (Big Buddy, media, etc.) involved in the process.

bigbuddy graphic
Image courtesy of Word Cloud

         Public Relations requires professionals be competent in various skills and situations. Ten competencies employers look for include action orientation, dealing with ambiguity, creativity, decision quality, problem solving, motivating others, planning, priority setting, strategic agility, and time management. In the short time we have worked with Big Buddy time management seems to be a competency I have had to learn to deal with the most. Senior year is hectic because while school is important, preparing for post graduation takes up a lot of my time and attention. As a group we were able to show how we were action oriented by volunteering at Big Buddy’s Burger Bash. It was great to show our organization that we do more than just come up with great ideas; we back up our ideas with action as well. The competency that I have been most impressed that our group possesses is problem solving. One of the first requests of Big Buddy is that we find a venue that would allow us to use their space free of charge. This task sounded hard to accomplish but when we put our heads together and used all of our resources we were able to come up with multiple options. Values and competencies are crucial in PR and I am already seeing how the campaign is helping us improve in both.

Image courtesy of Dr. Copple-Moore

The mission of Big Buddy Program is to provide access to positive role models and learning experiences to children who lack these valuable resources in the Greater Baton Rouge community.

For more information, or to contact Lagniappe Public Relations, please email us at lagniappe For more information on Big Buddy Program, visit their website or Facebook.

-Grant Tarleton


I am a senior mass communications major at LSU. I love to have fun and be spontaneous. My dream job would be to host a talk show but becoming a real estate developer will do as well.


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