Principles of Public Relations: A Reflection

This class has been one of the best in my college career. And, no,  I’m not just saying that for grading purposes. The reason I think this class was helpful was because of its application to the REAL WORLD.

Every class we discussed something relevant to what is going on today in PR. Whether it was talking about current crises and how they’ve been cleaned up (or not), or which Presidential candidate has the best overall website, it took us outside of the textbook and gave us tools to make us more marketable.

Our textbook!

I learned about social media campaigns and how social media is not just about keeping up (aka stalking) your friend’s lives, but rather looking at it as a business STRATEGY.

One of the best parts about this class was our personal branding project. I’ve known for a while that I needed to build my own website and craft my own brand, but I was always putting it on the back burner. This class made it a priority and look – if you’re reading this post, I will consider myself successful!

This class also required me to volunteer for a local event (see previous post). Volunteering is another thing I often think about but often do not feel I have a platform to give me the support and opportunity to make it all happen. This class also helped me look at the volunteering experience more critically and look at the process from a variety of perspectives.

I’ve found that most PR students do not wish to be labeled as journalists and vice versa, but I knew even before this class that I want to learn how to incorporate both worlds into my future career. I do not see a reason why we have to choose one side over the other and I intend on working for a company who finds merit in having skills from both arenas.

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My Volunteer Experience

On Monday, September 26, 2011, I volunteered for the University Lecture Series (ULS) when they presented Common:  One Day It’ll All Make Sense. This is also the title of his book, which you can find here.

I knew I wanted to volunteer for ULS when the schedule was posted at the beginning of the semester. Once I learned Lara Logan (which is now canceled) would be a guest I did whatever I could to be a part of the group.

Once I arrived I was given a volunteer lanyard and a staffing schedule letting me know what role I would be in charge of.  It was storming on this night and Common was running late.

My role was event greeter. My job was to stand at the entrance of the Marshall Student Center and inform attendees on where to go. This event was open to the public and it was really interesting to see how an event of that magnitude was executed.

During the Q&A portion of Common’s lecture, a student gave him a drawing they had done of him. After the lecture I went to gather my stuff out of the room and while I was leaning down I saw the drawing. I said, “Wow, that is really cool.” However, I had no idea the person holding the drawing was none other than Common himself. Lol. I would do something like that.

ULS gathered the volunteers at the end and thanked us for our help and Common said he thought we did a wonderful job. They also presented Common with a scrapbook of student letters, which I thought was a great touch.

Here is an article from USF’s newspaper about the event!

It was great night overall! Photo courtesy of Greg Bryon: http://eight20eight.tumblr.com/

My favorite part of the lecture was the beginning when Common did a rap. This wasn’t just any rap – it was a rap specific to USF… GREATNESS right there!