My semester journey: What PR with BRAC has taught me

Here is my last blog post for my public relations writing class. It’s been wild ride, but it’s all been worth it. I have learned so much more than I thought I would, and I am thankful I took this service-learning course.

When I was scheduling last semester, the only public relations writing class that fit in my schedule was the service-learning section. By taking a service-learning course, I would be working with a “real client” and gain practical experience that would help me in the real world. I would also gain an understanding of social issues and civic responsibility. Because of this level of intensity, I almost wanted to redo my entire schedule to avoid this section. However, when I gave it more thought, I decided to challenge myself. I’m glad I did, because the information I have learned throughout this semester will benefit me greatly when I graduate from the Manship School at LSU this December.

Not only has this class given me hands on experience in the public relations field, but it has also helped me grow as a professional. My group, Reveal PR, has made it their mission to provide excellent work to our client, BRAC. We have learned to write clearly and accurately, recognize the diversity of different audiences, apply tools and technologies appropriate for our client and many other skills.

When I first read our course learning outcomes, I honestly didn’t think I would leave the class with all of those skills under my belt. Surprisingly, when I re-read them not too long ago, I realized that I have mastered these goals. Now that this class is coming to a close, I am able to understand particular clients’ needs, demonstrate skills in research, understand the importance of truth and fairness, demonstrate skills in writing, produce ideas for various audiences and platforms, establish and maintain positive relationships and much more.

Although this semester is almost over, the workload is still strong. Reveal PR is working on finalizing the campaign booklet for our project with SCVNGR and BRAC, and I can’t wait to see the finished product. It’s been a lot of work, but this project will be great to show to future employers. This class has also prepared me for my next and final public relations course, Campaigns. I feel as though I will be a step ahead from the other students who were in the basic courses.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn to follow my PR journey and future ventures. Also, complete our trek, Uncover BR, on SCVNGR.

Thanks for following Nothing Butts PR.

Two Necessities in PR for BRAC: Ethics and Professionalism

While being a student in this service-learning course at the Manship school at LSU, I have learned much more than I ever thought I would. Having constant writing assignments has definitely been exhausting at times, but I know all of this work will come in handy. When I get my first job in the public relations field, it will be great to know how to write with no worry at all. This will be a great experience to have under my belt.

I have definitely learned the importance of acting professional when it comes to being a public relations specialist. Because we are interacting with a real client, BRAC, knowing to always act professional is crucial. Whether we are interacting with our client in person or sending an email, we always have to act in a professional and mature nature.

In this class, we are learning to master certain professional values and competencies. We will leave this class being able to recognize the diversity of audiences, write clearly and accurately, apply theories in presenting images and information, engage in research and critical evaluation, think critically, creatively and independently, evaluate critically our own work and that of others, and apply tools and technologies appropriate for the profession.

I have definitely noticed these values and competencies come into play. For example, I have realized how we constantly write for a variety of audiences. Certain topics require a certain audience, and you have to know the best strategy to reach them. I definitely feel confident in being able to write clearly and accurately, because we have written multiple examples of news releases, business letters and memos, media advisories, strategic messaging plans, speeches and much more. I have also learned to evaluate my work and the work of others through peer evaluations for our group projects.

Alongside professionalism, ethics has also come into play in our class this semester. When working for a client as a public relations professional, one must always act with an ethical attitude and make decisions based on the importance of ethics. Someone in the field of public relations cannot make rash decisions or decisions based on a gut feeling. One must evaluate their decisions and reactions with a focus on ethics.

Many people think public relations specialists are just professional truth spinners. Most assume that if you are someone’s PR representative, then you are just around to make them look good no matter what lies you have to tell. This obviously isn’t the truth. Yes, a PR specialist wants to keep their client’s reputation positive, but in a professional and ethical manner.

Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn.

PR with BRAC: Gaining Real Life Experience Through Service-Learning

I’ll be honest. I was definitely intimated by the idea of taking a certified service-learning course at the Manship School at LSU. I remember sitting in the room on the first day of class and having a mental panic attack as we went over our 27-page syllabus. As I saw the frightened looks on my classmates’ faces as we left the classroom, I knew I wasn’t alone. My experience in this class, however, hasn’t been as dismaying as I pictured it would be on that first day. It has definitely been challenging and many times exhausting, but I know all of this work will pay off in the end.

I’m actually already starting to see how the assignments help me in other areas of my everyday life. For example, at my internship, I was asked to write a press release by the end of the day, and I knew exactly what to do. The format, the information, the slugs and the boilerplate all came quickly to me. That’s when I knew this class was completely worth it. Writing all those news releases definitely came in handy.

On that 27-page class syllabus, Dr. Moore-Copple explained that “service-learning courses are ‘credit-bearing educational experiences in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility’ (from Bringle & Hatcher, 1995).” Basically, we will leave this course with the understanding of social issues in our community and the understanding of civic responsibility.

My own understanding of this unique course is that we will gain real life experience. It’s one where we not only learn in the classroom, but we can also learn how to handle what a public relations specialist does on a daily basis. It’s one where we gain the knowledge about the useful and necessary traits of successful public relations professional. Doing class work is helpful and necessary but actually getting to work with a client is a priceless experience.

Working with our client, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, has made the connection for me between our service-learning course and public relations as a whole very clear. To be an effective and reputable public relations specialist, one must constantly understand the social issues that are present in their community as well as foster an understanding of civic responsibility. Without these traits, you may not gain much trust among your clients. We are learning this firsthand with BRAC, therefore, I feel that this class will be an extremely beneficial and useful experience under my belt.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn to follow my journey.

BRAC Jumps on Board with the Social Media Revolution by using SVNGR

How significant do you think social media is in today’s world? Watch this video to see an interesting perspective on how momentous it really is. It’s actually rather startling and quite unbelievable.

Social media and technology play a huge role in our lives today. Whether you like it or not, you can’t escape its presence. Being a mass communication student has taught me just how powerful social media can be. Almost every brand, celebrity, company and individual is on some form on social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or more.

In the beginning of the spring semester, I became a social media intern at a local real estate company. My position is solely based on the need for an online presence. Even real estate companies are utilizing social media. Believe it or not, real estatecompanies utilized social media more than any other type of company in 2009. The main part of my job is to regularly update the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages, as well maintain the LinkedIn page.  

Social media and technology seem to go hand in hand. You don’t have one without the other. With new technology comes new ways to utilize social media. For example, with the creation of smartphones came the applications to use social networks on the go. Everyone was able to stay connected no matter where they were. Social media now accounts for 18% of time spent online, according to this new infographic. 

Because of all this social media uproar, it’s no surprise that The Baton Rouge Area Chamber is striving for a greater social media presence. Many people get their daily news updates through the use of these social networks, therefore, an online presence is almost essential for success. Actually, a third of young adults get their news from social networks. 

BRAC is present on Facebook and Twitter, but now they want to become visible in the mobile application world. That’s where our Manship class comes in. We are creating unique treks for the mobile gaming application, SVNGR. By the use of this interactive app, people can observe and experience the great opportunities the Baton Rouge area has to offer. My group, Reveal PR, is creating a trek that will uncover BR. We are planning to find unique and nostalgic locations as well as modern and updated areas of interest as well.

Preparing these treks on SVGNR for BRAC will teach us to understand the client’s wants and needs, help us to demonstrate our skills within a deadline, establish and maintain a positive relationship and create professional communications using various technologies. We will master these tasks and be able to perform these duties for future clients. 

Be sure to connect with me on LinkedIn to follow my progress with my social media internship as well as any other career moves.

PR with BRAC

UntitledThis is the first blog post I have written since I was in high school, so I may be a little rusty. I had to create a blog my sophomore year of high school for my English class. My teacher would usually give us topics to write about but would sometimes let us post on anything we wanted. The freedom always intimidated me. I like some structure or some general outlines to keep me motivated.

Now I am back in the blogosphere during a new chapter of my life, the end of college. Here it goes.

I am a senior at LSU and am in the Manship School of Mass Communication. My focus is public relations, and I love it. I am unsure of my future in the workforce, but as of now, I am pleased on where I stand. I plan on graduating in December, which will give me 4 ½ years of college under my belt.

This particular blog, “Nothing Butts PR”, was created for my public relations writing class.

This specific section of the public relations writing class (MC4001) is a communication-intensive class, which means my class goes above and beyond the general criteria for the course. It is also a certified service-learning course. This means we get to work with a “real client” and gain real life experience. I know this class will be prove to be tough, but I am confident that I will learn the essentials of becoming a professional writer.

Because my class is a service-learning course, we get to take part in an awesome opportunity this semester. This class of 18 students gets to learn how to use the mobile application, SVNGR, for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC). We are creating treks, which are essentially virtual scavenger hunts, around Baton Rouge. By creating these treks, we are promoting the efforts of BRAC.

BRAC is a nonprofit organization that focuses on the economic growth of Baton Rouge and its surrounding areas. It is going to be a challenging but rewarding experience.

Our class was split into four teams and was assigned a certain theme for our trek. My group was given the trek, discover/rediscover BR. Others included nightlife, arts and culture and get out of town.

My team decided to rename the trek, uncover BR, and I serve as the account liaison. I am the organizer of the group as well as the face for our client, Julie, director of talent development for BRAC.

My teammates and I are to find the Baton Rouge locals’ favorite spots as well as sentimental spots for the natives. We want to create a trek that would in turn create a sense of nostalgia as well as a sense of discovery.

Follow BRAC on Twitter and like their Facebook page for updates on the organization. I will be updating my blog on the progress of the project!