First year students are often confused about the distinction between Public Relations and Events Management.
I have studied both subjects as a joint degree at university and I can say that there are certain similarities but many differences too.
One thing that needs to be made clear straight in the beginning is the fact that:
Public Relations is not Events Management and vice versa
PR is reputation management. As a PR pro you look after your clients’ reputation and focus on establishing communication channels between them and their key stakeholders.
Events Management on the other hand is in its nature a project management that aims to create great events, festivals, music gigs and conferences. You employ all your creativity and imagination to put on amazing events that everybody will want to go to and that everybody will remember forever. Yes, there is a need for marketing and PR, but it is not the essential aspect of the job.
Let’s have a look at some of the similarities and differences.
Project management – both professions require accurate project management skills. You have to plan ahead in a great detail, undertake a wide research, create SMART objectives, schedules and deadlines and also think of ongoing measurement and post evaluation.
Creativity – there is a need for a creative edge. For your events and PR campaigns to be successful, you have to think ‘out-of-the-box’.
Stakeholder management – there are different stakeholders for a PR professional and Event Manager yet they all have to be looked after and kept satisfied.
Client relations – the client is the person who pays your wages so you have to keep them in the loop as often as possible.
Trade relations – monitoring the progress of the industry and your competitors is a key to success. You don’t want to miss out on the latest technology developments and new campaigns/events ideas. Your goal is to be seen as a key player and therefore, you also look after your company’s reputation.