Top Ten Things I Learned in Introduction to Public Relations

Well, a semester has flown by once again and graduation is approaching. It is sad to say that I only have one more year left in college (if things go accordingly) and then I am off  and into the real world. Hopefully, I will be joining the world of public relations when I graduate from Georgia Southern University next spring. After taking Barbara Nixon’s Introduction to Public Relations class, I feel that I am much better prepared to enter the field.

  The intro class was not exactly what I had in mind. I thought there would be a lot more reading from the book and taking lots of notes as the professor lectured the 85 students. This was not the case in this particular introduction to Public Relations class. We did learn a lot and reading the book was mandatory in order to better understand the material discussed in class (and in order to pass the RATS give each week) but the way the teacher assigned and taught things were not the norm and I liked it.

    As this is my third year at Georgia Southern University I am able to say that the majority of the classes I have taken have been mundane and monotonous. The teacher stands behind a podium and lectures off of a powerpoint slide or writes notes on the board. Professor Nixon lectured in the small auditorium but the way she spoke to the class was different. She did not treat us as though we did not already have a clue. She talked to us like she would another professor and taught us in her own unique way.

   Her style of teaching was different and involved the entire class. Each class was interesting and appealed to the students. Because I took Professor Nixon’s class, I am better suited for my field of study and have a lot to take with me. Here is a list of the top ten things I learned;

  1. Social networking is extremely important so people are aware that you are out there and are willing to learn more. Also, social networking allows people to learn more about you and can potentially help you get a job or internship. There are several different social networks we learned about in class, but the main network used was  Twitter, www.twitter.com.
  2. It is always best to be prepared. When you go out to look for internships or jobs not only in PR but for any field of study, you must be prepared. You need to have back ground information and know what you want and what the company you are looking at wants.
  3. Blogs are a very good way to become noticed. You can be noticed in a positive or negative way depending on what you write, so make sure you keep it clean and professional.
  4. This goes along with number 4. If you type your name in a search engine like www.google.com or www.ask.com there is a great possibility that you will find information on yourself. For example your WordPress blog may appear or your facebook profile or tweets to friends. Companies do background information on potential clients and typing the name into a search engine is an easy way to do this.  
  5. AP is the style that is used to write releases in Public Relations. It is best to get a style book to help you along the process of writing.
  6. There are several different services of Public Relations and it is important for you to decide which service of PR you want to be involved in. These are a few of the different services: marketing communication, research and evaluation, media analysis, events management, public affairs, branding and corporate reputation, financial relations. There are others but those stand out to me.
  7. It is very important to be ethical in Public Relations (as with anything). To be ethical is to do what is right, to have morals and follow them, and having a value system where right and wrong is determined by the person.
  8. Public Relations is a team, so one must be a team player and work well with others. Be involved in the group and let each member know what is taking place and what the game plan is so everyone can be on the same page.
  9. Research is a key ingredient in PR and needs to be done before a task is undergone. It is the first step of the PR process, which leads us to number 10.
  10. Public Relations is a process  that involves RESEARCH, ACTION, COMMUNICATION, AND EVALUATION. In order to be successful one must follow this process. The short little acronym RACE will help you remember these four vital steps.

   The list of things I learned this semester in class could be much longer, but I feel that these are the most important facts taught in the class. I enjoyed taking this class. It not only helped prepare for the PR world, but it helped me make the ultimate decision that being in PR is what I want to do once I graduate.

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