This summer semester I took PUR 3000. This was my first official PR class and I very much enjoyed it! It made me excited to take the rest of my PR coursework through graduation. I feel that this class touched many aspects of the public relations spectrum and has prepared me for my future classes. I feel like I now know the general ideas, tactics and purposes of public relations. My favorite part of this class was the social media campaigns. These were very interesting and entertaining to watch. These projects showed me how much public relations use social media and are incorporated into Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks in their everyday use. I never realized how much social media was used until after this project. In this class we were also required to make a Twitter, a blog, a LinkedIn and a Prezi. I have never been one to use Twitter or one who did blogging. However, after doing it, I see how important and helpful it is in public relations. I became a lot more technologically savvy through these projects as well. We also had to volunteer at an event for this class. I choose to volunteer for the Best Buddies organization and helped out with a 5k race. I very much enjoyed this experience and learned a lot. We had to write a paper on it as well and that obviously helped me with my PR ability because writing is very important in this field. Overall, I really enjoyed this class and I think that it was a great class to prepare me for the rest of my PR classes and future career.
Best Buddies Volunteer Experience June 9, 2011
For my volunteer project I decided to help out with the Best Buddies Friendship Walk, which benefits the national organization Best Buddies International. Best Buddies is an organization that is attempting to spread volunteer experience globally to expand friendships, leadership opportunities and employment opportunities for people or are developmentally or intellectually challenged. I have volunteered my time many times through numerous organizations. After volunteering for the SPCA last year I didn’t think that it could get any more rewarding than that, simply because of my overwhelming compassion for animals. However, after volunteering for Best Buddies my opinion changed.
My volunteer work for Best Buddies Friendship Walk was the break down shift. I helped distribute food, handed out shirts, and took down tables, signs and chairs after the race. While I felt helpful, the best part of the experience was actually talking and spending time with the “buddies;” those with various disabilities. I saw how thankful these people were to have friends and people that cared and wanted to hang out with them. After meeting Cynthia, the director of Best Buddies in Tampa, she introduced me to one of the “buddies” named Ben. Ben told me how he has biked 18 miles from his home and then ran the 5k, then was about to bike 18 miles back, yet he was still so happy to be around everyone.
The energy at the event was so positive. It was truly a rewarding experience. At the end of the event, I spoke with the president of the Best Buddies chapter at USF. I am now hoping to get involved in the chapter here at USF.
I did the #PRstudchat on Twitter on May 18, 2011. At first, I thought it was just going to be a lot of people happy to graduate, but after being on the chat for a while I learned a lot of helpful tips that I could use in PR. It was asked what the expectations of young professionals were. A CEO said, “If you’re asked to complete a ‘test’ assignment, turn it around fast.” Another professional said that a valid concern in PR is that many students have no experience and no online presence. Patience and passion are key in PR. Lauren Gray suggests an online portfolio for students. She also suggests keeping up with the news and knowing what is going on in the world. Understanding the other side of the spectrum first hand is important, so getting internships is vital. Gray says that marketing and advertising are your colleagues, not your competition. I noticed that a lot of the new grads were very anxious and had many questions about suggestions as a young professional. Many of them had tips for those of us who weren’t graduated yet, such as getting an internship, and being involved. Speaking of being involved, Christina Morgan emphasizes just how important PRSA is. She describes it as an extremely active network with tons of student/professional engagement. One girl asked what industries are up and coming that PR professionals should keep their eyes on? Mark Ragan said that health care is always up and coming. Lisa Brock added that Medical tech, celebrity, and sports PR are also on the rise. A final suggestion from PRSSA was to be adaptable. In turn it will make you more marketable. This chat really helped me see the ups and downs of PR and gave me so many useful tips that I know I will use in my future PR career.