Some friends asked me why I became interested in public relations.
Let me tell you about my experience that served as a trigger for me to become interested in PR.
I had worked as a research assistant at a college of art, a university in Tokyo for 5 years.
I taught practical training courses about how to edit magazines with applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. In addition, I published free magazines with students in a Journalism training course.
The university has two campuses. One is in Tokyo. The other is in Tokorozawa city, Saitama Prefecture. In 2007, the city council members of Tokorozawa City asked the university to look for cooperation in revitalizing the city.
Then I joined the city revitalization project as a young lecturer with students in the journalism course.
After we undertook a few projects, we decided to promote local taros (potatoes). The taros are mainly provided to high-class Japanese-style restaurants from the city. We made 3,000 bottles of distilled spirit from the taros.
Design major students made a package and some literary art students wrote copies of the bottle.
After that I started to worry about the project. It seemed nobody would buy them since no one in the city knew the project and the new distilled spirits.
I noticed the necessity let people know about the project. However, we didn’t have a budget for advertisement. So I wrote a press release about the project and distributed to people in media. Then I called them to explain the project.
Since several reporters showed interests, I talked to the Mayor about it. After that, the Mayor decided to hold a brief session.
After that, the project succeeded in gaining media exposure including newspapers and web media.
As a result, 3,000 bottles were sold out in one day.
I came to understand the power of public relations through this experience. Then, I decided to leave the university and joined a private company as a public relations person.
This experience served as a trigger for me to start a PR job in private companies.