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


Lessons in PR EXCLUSIVE: Ethics as Culture, Grunig Lecture at Maryland


My friends and I learned valuable lessons by chatting with PR professionals at the Sixth Annual Grunig Lecture. Photo credit: Imani Lewis via Photogrid

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Sixth Annual Grunig Lecture held at the University of Maryland. As a student, it was a privilege to interact with the top representatives of the public relations industry. It opened my eyes to the different areas I could explore within public relations. In addition to having great discussions with PR professionals, I and 350 other attendees listened as CEO of FleishmanHillard Dave Senay spoke on Ethics as Culture, a project the company is currently involved in which focuses on making ethics a priority in public relations. His presentation of the project was exceptional; I want to share three key takeaways that I received from it.

Takeaway #1 – Making ethical decisions is not a “nice to have” but a “must do.”

Senay shared several examples of PR gone wrong when ethics were not considered a priority in the organization’s dealings. He continued to explain the importance of this advice by presenting several examples of PR practitioners and clients suffering grave consequences for not conducting business ethically.

Takeaway #2 –  Good ethics are rooted in character, not training.

There exists an instinctive temptation to attempt to remedy ethical issues in an organization through training and further education. However, according to Senay, ethical behavior is rooted in character, a passion for being a respectable person to others. Continue reading