Confessions of a PR student

Learning public relations one step at a time

Video reflection

 

 

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End of semester confessions: public relations writing, service-learning and BRAC

The semester is finally coming to an end and that means its time for me to reflect on what I’ve learned in MC 4001. Where to begin? Well, for starters I have learned how to create dozens of public relations written materials.  Just to name a few, I have created news releases, business letters, media advisories, strategic message planners, brochures, talking points memos, and public service announcements.  I know feel confident in my writing skills and knowledge of how to correctly utilize written public relations tools to connect with audiences.  Although stressful at many times, the constant flow of information and assignments due taught me to keep up with the fast-pace public relations world and better manage my time.  I managed to land my first public relations internship at Cooperkatz & Co. for this summer.   I feel that this class has prepared me for anything they throw my way.  I can now confidently say that I have a vast knowledge of public relations tools, and that I am a quick learner.  I am excited to utilize what I have learned in the classroom as well as learn as much as I can while interning for such a great company.

Participating in a service-learning class has taught me more than I could have ever learned in a regular classroom. As I mentioned in my previos post, my class is working with BRAC to create SCVNGR treks to promote the Baton Rouge area.  My group, Découvrir Public Relations, worked to create a trek that promotes the arts and culture of Baton Rouge.  Check out the finished trek here and follow us on twitter for updates about the trek.  Working with a a real client taught me a great deal about professionalism.  Not only was our client, Julie Laperouse, a great example of professionalism, but she left left us with tips and a great deal of knowledge about how to act in order to be successful in the professional world.  I feel that I have grown immensely in the area of professionalism proficiency.  Her presentation on elevator speeches prepared me for interviews to come and reinforced the importance of strong networking skills.  This article discusses how vital networking is in order to be successful.  Working with BRAC was a great opportunity that I am very grateful for.  BRAC is a wonderful non-profit dedicated to fostering economic development in Baton Rouge. I am happy to say that I was able to help BRAC with their mission of promoting all that Baton Rouge has to offer.

Thanks for reading. Follow me on twitter and check out my LinkedIn page to see what is in store for me next.

Learning professionalism and ethics through working with BRAC

credit: alexanderlegalgroup.com

credit: alexanderlegalgroup.com

Of all the things I have learned through service-learning this semester, I have to say two of the most important are professionalism and ethics. No matter what field of work you enter, a strong knowledge and good use of professionalism and ethics are a must in order to exceed. Professionalism is necessary because it encompasses not only your actions but your attitudes toward  focusing on the ideals of your profession. A professional is always seeking ways to improve skills and pursue opportunities in her professional field.  Ethics comes into play by becoming a professional the right way and exercising  your values in the professional world.

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the world’s largest organization of public relations professionals. PRSA provides professional development, sets standards of excellence and upholds principles of ethics for its members.  According to PRSA’s code of ethics “ethical practice is the most important obligation of a PRSA member.”  This code of ethics is understood as the industry standard.  Every PR professional should be familiar with this code and abide by its rules.  After reading over this code, I presumed that most of these rules should be common knowledge.  Be accurate, truthful, and an honest worker and you will not run into any problems.  I believe that my work with BRAC this semester has helped me come to that conclusion and learn the importance of professionalism and ethics.

BRAC‘s mission is to lead economic development in several ways including job creation, international development as well as taking public positions on issues that affect the business community and providing vision and seed funding for education initiatives.  With such a large agenda I have learned by example that in order to be successful and see  your business agenda through you must practice professionalism by always bettering your brand and doing so in the right way.  As I have mentioned in my previous post, my MC 4001 class is working with BRAC to create SCVNGR treks to promote the Baton Rouge area. As strategy director for Decouvrir, I am in charge of the overall development of the campaign and how exactly we will get our message out to the audience. I have learned that you must act in a professional manner to successfully get your ideas out there and implemented. Also, practicing a healthy code of ethics will get the job done and portray yourself and business in a truthful light. BRAC does a phenomenal job of promoting professionalism and good ethics in every work they create.

Follow me on twitter for updates of my work with BRAC.

BRAC prepares me for PR in the real world

Service-learning has been a great experience this semester.  Having the chance to work with a client on a real-world promotion has taught me more than I could have learned in any regular PR class. As I mentioned in my previous post, my MC 4001 class is working with BRAC to create SCVNGR treks to promote certain aspects of the Baton Rouge area. Going into the project my view of how public relations really works was a little different.  I had a general idea of how PR professionals communicate with clients and publics, but did not know much about the logistics. I have learned that constant and open flow of communication with your client is essential.

Since working with BRAC this semester, I feel better prepared for my PR internship this summer and work life after college. I have seen what communication with a client is like and have gotten a little closer to finding my own niche within the PR realm. I feel that I have gained a sense of professionalism, which has increased my confidence when speaking with clients and co-workers. Just last week, I was interviewing for my dream internship in New York City. I was incredibly nervous walking into the PR agency’s building on Lexington Ave., NYC.  As I endlessly searched the web for the “right thing to say” at an interview, I began to realize that I already knew how to speak with professionals. The training I have received this semester (thanks to my incredible MC professor, Dr. Jensen Moore Copple) has prepared me for working with BRAC as well as any other firm out there. Good news- I got the job at CooperKatz & Co. for the summer and could not be more thrilled.

View of my office for the summer. Photo credit: Cassie Hart

View of my office for the summer. Photo credit: Cassie Hart

Working with a non-profit organization has been an eye-opening experience; it has let me see how another type of organization works.  I am still a little weary about which type of PR, agency or in-house, will interest me most. The one thing I do know is I love working with BRAC. Promoting the city I live in and love has been exciting and most interesting to me. I hope to find a job after college that offers me opportunities to promote clients that I am just as passionate about. I am appreciative for the opportunity and lessons learned while working with BRAC this semester.

Follow me on twitter for updates on my work with BRAC: Catherinehartxx

BRAC uses SCVNGR to keep up with always evolving social media trends

Social-media-for-public-relations1-1024x520

Social media has changed the way people communicate pervasively. Not only people, but it changed the way organizations, communities and the media communicate as well. It can be difficult to keep up with the ever evolving changes social media makes to our lives.  Ever since I can remember, I have been changing the way I keep in contact with friends. It started with AIM instant messaging in middle school, then to Myspace and Facebook in high school.  It changed again with Twitter and Instagram once I came to college.  This article reviews the history and evolution of social media from its beginnings to present day. It is interesting to see how much has changed since the days of early social networking.

This constant changing and updating of ways to communicate makes it important for organizations to keep up to date with current technology and social media trends. They must do so in order to stay in contact with their publics. The Baton Rouge Area Chamber has done a great job of making itself available on different social media sites.  BRAC has profiles on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and Google+ to stay in touch with a wide array of people.

BRAC is now taking the next step to include SCVNGR to its list of social media sites.  I mentioned SCVNGR in my first post, but I want to go a little further in depth about this great app and how BRAC plans to use it.  SCVNGR is a geolocation- based mobile gaming application that allows users to earn points and receive rewards by checking in or completing challenges at various locations.  It’s a game about doing challenges at places. It’s a whole new kind of social media that allows its users to communicate by getting up and doing something instead of just sitting in front of a computer.  It’s a great way for BRAC to get people involved and showcase all that Baton Rouge has to offer.  BRAC’s mission is to lead economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge area, what better way to do just that than to stimulate interest in the area?

As I mentioned in my previous post, my MC 4001 class is working with BRAC to create four treks to promote Baton Rouge. We hope that by creating these promotional treks for the city, people will discover and appreciate Baton Rouge in a new way.  We hope to stimulate interest in the city to potential residents and stimulate community involvement to current residents.  I believe our campaign is going to be a great success and more businesses will soon incorporate SCVNGR in their promotions as well.

Follow me on Twitter for updates on the arts and culture trek for Baton Rouge.

Learning stewardship, civil engagement and social responsibility through working with BRAC

Two very important responsibilities of any public relations practitioner are stewardship and social responsibility.  As a student in Dr. Moore’s MC 4001 class, I have the honor of learning these responsibilities from a company that embodies both as part of their mission and practices them every day.   Baton Rouge Area Chamber  is a terrific organization that serves the community and directly benefits its residents in a positive and meaningful way.

Baton-Rouge-Chamber-Logo

Before I was introduced to these terms as a organization’s duties, I had a skewed understanding of what stewardship really meant.  I have to come to understand that BRAC is a steward of the economic development of Baton Rouge.  As I mentioned in my last post, our class is working with BRAC to create SCVNGR treks to promote the Baton Rouge area. My group, Découvrir Public Relations, is working with BRAC to specifically promote the arts and culture of Baton Rouge.  Stewardship is a vital responsibility of an organization that enables it to work toward a goal.   Découvrir must act as the steward of arts and culture to promote their benefits to residents and future residents of the area.  We have some great ideas in the works to promote all Baton Rouge has to offer.  I have learned from BRAC to use what resources are offered to you and work to gain more resources that will benefit those around you.

I believe that social responsibility is the most important job of any organization.  If an organization is not working to better our community in some way, then what are they doing? BRAC does a great job of exemplifying what it means to practice social responsibly.  BRAC’s  mission statement explains what the company is here to do, which is better the community.  BRAC takes on the huge responsibility of developing the economy of Baton Rouge.  As a non profit organization, BRAC selflessly gives time and resources in order to benefit the city.  BRAC works together with its community to improve the community.

As public relations professionals we have the responsibility to create work that promotes our client in a positive and meaningful way.  Acting with integrity and practicing social responsibility is a must in order to create work that will have an impact on the community. PR is all about building relationships with your clients and audiences. By practicing stewardship and social responsibility, strong and ethical relationships fall into place.  By watching BRAC build relationships with huge investors all of the country as well small local businesses and residents, I have learned the importance of maintaining communication with everyone I meet. I look forward to learning more important lessons from BRAC while working with them this semester.

Follow me on twitter  to see updates on Découvrir’s work with BRAC.

PR class teams up with BRAC to promote BR arts and culture

I am Catherine Hart, a junior at LSU studying mass communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in business administration.  I am starting this blog as an assignment for my public relations writing class.  I hope you enjoy reading and seeing a little insight into the life of a PR student.

As a student is Jensen Moore- Copple’s  MC 4001 class, I am participating in a service-learning group project with BRAC.  What is service-learning you may ask? It’s a practical way of learning in which students work with “real clients” in order to gain practical experience in the field they are studying.

I was both and excited and nervous to hear that I was in the only 4001 class that would be working on a public relations campaign that would actually be implemented.  Excited because this will be great experience for the future. Nervous because I have no idea what I am doing.

My team  for the project is made up of myself and four girls in the class.  Megan and I act as co- strategy directors with the primary responsibility of developing new and exciting strategies to carry out the campaign.  Visit Megan’s blog, my slice. Alexis works as our account liaison by planning and staying in contact with our client.  Check out Alexis’ blog, said a local lady. Our writing director is Madison who coordinates all written communications for the team.  Last but not least is Erica, our design director.  She is very talented in Photoshop and InDesign and is in charge of the look and feel of our campaign materials.  Our group is called Découvrir, French for discover.

businesscardfinal

This semester we have the great opportunity of working with the non profit organization, BRAC.  BRAC stands for Baton Rouge Area Chamber, an organization that is devoted to leading economic development in the nine parish Baton Rouge area.  Specifically we will be helping BRAC to promote Baton Rouge to both its residents and tourists to the area.  We will create SCVNGR treks as part of the promotion.

SCVNGR is a geolocation- based mobile gaming application that allows users to earn points and receive rewards by checking in or completing challenges at various locations.

My class is divided into four groups each working to create and promote the arts and culture, nightlife, get out of town, or re-discover Baton Rouge treks.  Our group is working to  create a SCVNGR trek that leads people around the Baton Rouge area in order to showcase the city’s culture and arts.   The trek will take its users to both historical and modern attractions in order to educate them on the rich culture of the city.  Rewards such as gift certificates to the attractions and Baton Rouge and LSU paraphernalia will be awarded to those who complete the trek.

Follow me to learn more about my experiences as a PR student at LSU!

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