This class has taught me so much about myself, as well as my future. Prior to this class, I do not think I had a solid grasp of what PR really was or how to define it. It was simply this “thing” that was attached to my major that I thought was self explanatory. I had heard horror stories that this class would destroy me and that I should prepare for long nights of tears, but in the end I’m really proud of all I’ve learned and accomplished because I never let myself fall behind.
In my first blog I wrote, “To me, Public Relations is the relationship between a brand and ‘the public eye’ when things are really good and when things are really bad. Basically how that person or company is represented and how their image is maintained when a crisis hits. It’s all about knowing the public and your client and thinking two steps ahead. PR is all about being flexible and thinking on your toes while mediating between different audiences.”
While I still believe this to be true, I think I now have a much better understanding of all the different facets that encompass a public relations professional. They work extremely hard to please clients while doing a million jobs simultaneously that go unrecognized.
Being able to work on a campaign for a real client was incredibly valuable this semester, and I really enjoyed being able to see the process from start to finish. With most advertising classes that I have taken, projects like these are broken up based on people’s individual skill sets such as research, tactics, or media planning, and I feel like that doesn’t always allow for people to grow in new areas. However, being responsible for this project every step of the way (from research to strategy to evaluation) gave me a much greater appreciation for all of the work that PR specialists do as I had the opportunity to experience the whole process. Instead of being motivated by a grade for this campaign, I was inspired by the fact that it was for a real client with real opportunity to create change.
This semester I learned that PR is all about applying the research you find and being able to make meaningful connections from it. Most people in the world don’t actually know all that PR entails until it’s too late and they need it, which makes it even harder to concisely define it. I feel like this class gave me many opportunities to validate that I chose the right major because there was always a chance for feedback and I really appreciated that. I knew from day one that I liked this course and I was made confident that I had picked a major I enjoyed because I never dreaded doing assignments. Nothing felt like busy work as I could see every assignment benefitting my future and I can’t say that about most classes.
I am a firm believer that students only get from a class the amount of work that they put in, so I feel very confident in my level of commitment and participation to this course because I know that I put my best effort forward. Being able to walk away from a class with an actual portfolio piece opposed to exams that get tossed in the garbage is a really good feeling, and I am confident now looking at my final planbook that I am one step closer to conquering the real world.