How to Become a Certifiable Know-it-all


One thing I’ve noticed since starting college, and really just life in general, is that there are some people who think they know everything. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some people who do know a lot of stuff about a lot of things (more on this later), but that’s not who I’m talking about. I think you know who I’m talking about. That person in your class that won’t shut up about the latest and greatest of something he clearly knows nothing about. Those people are, in my opinion, the worst. However, if these people did just a little bit of research, to have just the slightest bit of knowledge to back up their latest spiel, they would become significantly less annoying.

Now, hearing someone spew nonsense on a bus, or in a class is one thing. Having to listen to it in a professional environment, or worse, a business meeting might be worse, for their reputation as well as your own sanity. This is why research, especially in PR is so freaking important.

“Public relations is an art and a science focused on finding the best strategies and tactics to accomplish a client’s objectives. This knowledge comes from a mix of experience, an understanding of the media and the client and quality research” (Mitchell Communications Group, 2013). There are three different levels to research, basic, intermediate, and advanced. Basic research is simple stuff that you do every day, such as monitoring social media, reading the clients websites, or looking up facts. People often do basic research without even realizing it.  Intermediate is a little more in depth, and includes collecting and analyzing data and media. The most complex type of research is advanced. Advanced research includes analyzing competitors, doing statistical analyses or ROIs (Mitchell Communications Group, 2013).

One key part of Public Relations is reputation management, “this focuses on the image or reputation of the client organization, as measured by its popularity or value as a supplier, buyer, partner, employer, lender, citizen or investment” (Hutton, 1999). Managing someone else’s reputation is going to be really hard if you can’t even keep your own reputation under control. Along with this, managing other people is going to require a lot of research, that’s right, research (it’s everywhere I know). In order to manage a person or company’s reputation, you’ll want to know everything there is to know about them, their competitors, and anything going on in the field that they’re in. This is going to require a lot of research to make sure you know what you’re talking about when you speak to, or about them.

Now getting back to the people I was talking about earlier, you know, the ones who never shut up. They’d actually be really good at PR, if they’d just do some research (it’s everywhere!!). “Good PR is the telling of a good story. The better the story, the better the acceptance by the public and the better the public relations” (Lautenslager, 2003). These types of people clearly love to talk and love to tell a story, so just imagine how successful they’d be if they spent a couple hours researching whatever it is they won’t shut up about. Then, they’d actually be a know-it-all, they wouldn’t just have to act like one.


Hutton, J. G. (1999). The definition, dimensions, and domain of public relations. Public Relations Review,25(2), 199-214. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from

Lautenslager, A. (2003, November 17). Why You Need PR. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from

Mitchell Communications Group (2013, March 19). Public Relations: The Value and Importance of Research. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from


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