Name: Jullia Robertha Machado
Age: 20 years old
Major: Public Relations
Instagram: @julliarrm Twitter: @julesrrm Tumblr: jayrrm
Published articles: https://ufg.academia.edu/J%C3%BAlliaRoberthaRosaMachado
Background of PR in Brazil
Here in Brazil, there is no such thing as major and minor, only majors. Our high school is three years and usually you finish when you are 17 years old. I started school earlier, so I ended my high school when I was 16 years old. To get into any university in Brazil, you need to do an entrance exam, which is divided in two phases. The most competitive one here is Medicine; to pass to the second phase you need about 78 of the 90 questions. PR is much less but it is still competitive, I needed 62 points.
On the second phase, students are divided into areas: Biological courses, Math courses like engineer and Social studies like History, Philosophy, Public Relations, and Arts. The difference from the first phase is it’s less questions and all the questions need to be answered with paragraphs. Like first phase, you have a passing score, if you got it, you’re in the university.
Now, I live in a city called Goiânia, it is the capital of the state of Goiás. I study in a university called Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG), it’s a public school and it has the second best PR program in Brazil. The course here in Brazil is called Social Communication with Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations as independent courses.
Brazil is a major country. We have 26 states and the Federal District (our Washington D.C.), and because of our diversity each state has a very distinct culture. You are probably asking yourself: Why is she talking about this? Well, the culture is a determinative factor in society because it influences the way people act and react, how economy is built, and more. Now in places like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro that are extremely industrial, the market is agile and understands the need for communication. So the PR market there is insanely good and developed. In other places where the economy is familiar and you don’t have much competition, people don’t value PR or communication as much. My city, Goiânia, is passing through this transformation. The city is one of the fastest growing capitals in Brazil so the market is realizing the importance of having public relations people in their staff. In general, the market in Brazil is very good. You have opportunities to work in every field: public companies, private, nonprofit, self-employed, agencies.
What are your PR goals? Dream job?
I really like the idea of working with self-employed people. Mainly politicians because I am fascinated with politics, how elections happen, and how the relationship between politicians and public unfolds. Here in Brazil, we fight for an integrated communication process where PR, advertisers, and journalists work together. One of my goals is to create an agency that specializes in image management of self-employed professionals (musicians, politicians, lawyers). The agency would have all three communication areas.
Because of my love for politics, my dream job would be working on a presidential campaign.
How did you find PR and what made you want to study it?
Ok, so I got out of high school when I was 16 and I had no idea what I wanted to do. Here in Brazil there is a social pressure for you to become a doctor, a lawyer, or a civil engineer (I feels you.-Sarah). I didn’t like any of these courses. When I finished high school in 2011, I knew a few stuff about myself: I hated physics, I wasn’t the brightest in Math, and although I enjoyed Chemistry and Biology, I didn’t want to use it for the rest of my life. However, I still had to go to college because my parents spent a lot of money in my education. P.S: Another thing about Brazil – the best basic education here is private. I decided to go to law school because my dad and grandpa are lawyers. Well, it sucked because I didn’t get in. In a way, it was a blessing in disguise. Here, when you finish high school and don’t get accepted to a university, you do this thing called dying *jokes*; you go to a preparatory course where you review high school content for six months because there are entrance exams twice a year. I stayed there for one year and decided I was going to advertising school. I got into a private school and did one year in 2013. I truly discovered the communication world there. I did advertising pieces, wrote articles, and made cool friends. I had this subject called Management and Marketing Fundamentals and it was it. I fell in love with the strategic side of Communication so I talked to a friend of mine who studied PR at the time and asked what PR really did. And I made a decision. Even though people would look down on me for hopping from course to course, I was like screw it. It is my life, so I transferred to public relations in UFG. I started in 2014 and I have been in love with it ever since. The reason I wanted to study PR was strategy. I find it so intelligent and fascinating how strategic PR is and that’s why I am here.
Favorite and least favorite aspects in PR?
My favorite aspects are the strategic thinking, of course, but also the adaptability of PR. I have a teacher that says to us every class “What are you? What do you do? You are a Public specialist. Embrace it.” And when you think of it, it is genius. That’s what we do, we’re public specialists. That is great because it gives us freedom to act, according to the public we are dealing with. That’s versatile and agile, just like communication is. I guess I am a sucker for this agility life.
My favorite subject so far is Theory of the Public Opinion. My teacher is a genius: PhD Simone Tuzzo. I am actually writing an article about how heroes and celebrities affect the public opinion.
I am not very fond of the ceremonial and protocol part. I do it but it’s not my favorite. That’s the only one I could think of but I am sure I have hated and loved all of them at one point, depending on how annoying my teacher was!
What do you think is most essential for students to do while in college?
I think taking time to fully understand the communication process is fundamental. Sometimes we only study the aspects we like. For example, if I like social media, I’ll do anything to master it but I completely neglect the other areas. I don’t think we need to be specialists in everything – that would be awesome but impossible- but you need to know at least how to do it.
Another very important thing is to not panic. When I started, I use to panic because we would learn all this stuff and I was super scared of not being able to put it all into practice. But when the time comes and you’re in your internship, you’ll see it’s all good and you’ll learn much more than you expected.
What field of PR are you most interested in?
Definitely, political public relations. It’s arguably the most intelligent one. It demands not only immediate strategy but also long term. As I said before, I am fascinated by it.
What city do you want to work in?
I would like to have an experience working in the USA. If I am talking America, I would say Washington D.C. If I am talking Brazil, São Paulo or Rio, more São Paulo though.
What have you done in college to help your PR career? (Internships, extracurriculars, programs, etc.)
Public universities in Brazil receive a bunch of incentives to do research, so every teacher is specialized in something and has a research group. I am part of a research group called Web PR in which we study the practice of public relations on digital media platforms. The teacher responsible is Dr. Daiana Stasiak . Her doctorate degree thesis is awarded internationally. She has a very interesting view on visibility. Usually, marketing defines Web PR as being the way in which you can get your message out online. We analyze these ways and try to come up with theories to apply to them. We have presented and published some articles in a couple of conferences here in Brazil.
I have also done a couple of political marketing and public relations courses. I’ve done some social media and promotional marketing as well.
About internships, I have worked on the marketing department of a five star hotel. Right now, I am going through a selective process to get an internship with a politician. This year is election year so I am hoping to work on a campaign. Hopefully, I pass! Fingers crossed!
I have some. I like the Samsung – Safety Truck and The Ice Bucket Challenge was a good way of gathering attention to people. I like a Russian one about missing kids, they put a girl doll inside of an hourglass and as time would pass, sand would fall until everything was covered. It was very touching. A Brazilian one I like is the one made to publicize the 2014 World Cup. The responsible agency was Ogilvy’s public relations agency. They did this presentation on the River Thames during the 2012 Olympic Games. It was beautiful; I think it’s called the “World Meets Here.” It was the last part of their communication effort. They spent months doing fairs all over Europe to present Brazilian culture and tell people why they should visit not only Rio de Janeiro but all of the host cities.