Lessons in PR: Saying ‘No’ to Winter Break Doldrums

The New Year starts tomorrow. My New Year’s resolution? Not to waste the time I have right now.

As a PR student, I’ve learned that it is important to take advantage of down time. So, this winter break, I’m going to do just that by acquiring skills that will help me market myself as a young PR professional. Listed below are my top four goals this winter break that I hope will help me in preparing for my career. Hopefully, these goals can inspire you, too!

Winter break can be more than just hanging out in the snow. Take the time to improve your skills in PR. – Photo Credit: The Hope Scholarship blog

1)      Learn Adobe Creative Suite 6

Before the past semester, I hardly knew what InDesign was. I definitely did not know much about the other Adobe programs that exist. Thank God for college. After completing the “News Editing for Public Relations” course, I have gained a lot of insight and a huge admiration for quality design work. We dabbled with InDesign and Illustrator in class but I know that my experience merely scratches the surface of things that can be done with CS6. To accomplish this, I’m going to be utilizing these cool videos by designer Terry White on how to explore CS6 as a beginner.

2)      Perfect my online portfolio

As a PR kid, I have observed how important professional online portfolios are. Having a good, professional online presence makes a huge difference today. So, I decided to really work on mine over winter break. Even though it would be easier to create one through WordPress (I mean I have my blog here), I decided to go with Weebly. Weebly allows HTML coding freedoms that WordPress does not allow, which brings me to my next goal… Continue reading

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7 Signs You’re a PR Major

PR students stay connected. Photo Courtesy of Apple.com

Every college major or department comes with its own inside jokes and quirks that only its students and faculty understand.  Public Relations is no exception. In fact, PR is probably one of the least talked about majors in college. To take away from the “mystery,” I want to let you all in on the inside story of the PR major’s life.

Here are seven signs that you’re a PR major.

7. Sleep is the one thing that never gets crossed off your to-do list. No rest for the heavy-laden and PR majors, contrary to popular belief, are.

6. When lstening to students form other majors talk about they’re lives , you struggle to reesist kriticizing there grammer. Brownie points to anyone that identifies all the grammatical errors in this sentence. Double points for proper editing marks.

5. You understand how a 500-word news story can take just as long to write as a 1500-word essay. First, you write then you edit. Then you write again and edit. Then you send it off to the editor who edits it and gives it back to you to write … again. See a pattern forming?

4. You’re so literate in SEO that you can find info on anybody. Literally. See that hot TA in the English class? Got his email, LinkedIn and Facebook in less than five minutes with some constructive “Google” searching (don’t pretend like you don’t do this — fact checking at its finest).

3. You get the “It’s not what you know, but who you know” lecture at least 20 times in a given semester.  Friendliness and gratitude go a long way when making professional connections (those thank you notes make a difference!).

2. Your professors reprimand you for NOT using social media in class. “Twitter for Good,” anyone?

Finally…

1. You start blogging solely for the purposes of building up your online presence. I’m just kidding with this one, but honestly, if I wasn’t a PR major, I wouldn’t be blogging. I am so grateful that it inspired me to start.

Did I leave anything out? Let me know what you would put on a list of  the life of a PR major in the comments below.

Thanks!

– Imani

Newbie Reporter Writing Treasures

Studying and writing for public relations can be tricky work.

With organizing a story, there are massive amounts of research conducted before the real writing begins.

To go through this research process smoothly, I like to use two news resources – Google and Twitter.

Although both are online, Google is definitely the authority in spearheading my research.

I use Google to search for key terms, find old material on topics and read the opinions of other writers on the topic that I am researching.

I also use Google to find out more about the people or organizations that I write about by searching their names for any online presence.

Speaking of online presence, Twitter is a great tool for helping me learn about what kind of online “persona” the organization or individual that I am researching holds.

It also helps me find out about the most current discussion points relating to a certain topic, using hashtags.

I use both tools for personal use as well. I search for information about internships and public relations career education through Google. With Twitter, I search for PR organizations that intrigue me.

Both Google and Twitter are  fundamental tools for new writers.

(WC: 197) Continue reading