Here I sit, one short day away from completing another course and being one step closer to my PR diploma. In what seems like a blink of an eye and an eternity all at the same time, these past 6 weeks in PR Fundamentals II have been full of lessons that I will take with me well beyond the end of this program. I have been asked to reflect on my three key learnings in the PR Fundamentals II class, so here they are:
Get off your computer and get out there!
In a world where tweets and status updates are more frequent than a call to your mom, it is easy to become entranced with the online world. Everything is at our fingertips from research, to a possible husband—so why get out from behind your screen?!? Our teacher has reminded us that there is a world of people out there waiting to give their opinions and let us know what they are looking for. Although internet research is helpful, there is nothing quite as insightful as having a face to face conversation with someone, and getting a good understanding of what appeals to them. This leads quite nicely into my next teachable…..
Ahhhh the task we all love to avoid. Research is something I have been doing for many years, but I am reminded again at the importance of starting all communication plans with thorough research. I am definitely one of those people who loves getting into the tactics and strategies, so I need to remind myself that I cannot base campaigns on personal feelings. I need to get out there, pound the pavement (see above teachable) and understand what the target audience is looking for. Furthermore, it is essential to understand the needs and the tone of the company to make sure you are aligned with their organization.
Group work can be fun when you are with the right group of people
Group work: The bain of any PACE student’s existence. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good collaboration. However, when you put 25 communicators in one room for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 13 months, things are bound to go awry. With more group projects than I have dates with my boyfriend, there comes a point where you never want to do another group project in your life. With that being said, I am invigorated after this group project. Maybe not physically invigorated per-se, but I have drank the kool-aid and I am back on board for group projects. Why, you ask? Because I have just had the opportunity to work with 4 inspiring women who reminded me how good it is to collaborate with positive, supportive, and accountable individuals. Yes, it was hard work. No, we didn’t always agree on ideas. However, it was the way we interacted and supported each other that made it such a positive experience. If any of you are reading this: THANK YOU. I have appreciated this experience more than I can express.
Working on the CMHR project has been very insightful in regards to PR process. The thing that has struck me the most is how many times we had to come back to the drawing board in regards to our strategy, messaging, and tactics. It really is a process! There were countless times where we felt like we had hit the nail right on the head with our ideas. However, we would then come back the next day and have to change everything because when we sat back and critically thought about our ideas, we realized they didn’t quite fit.
So, here we are, one day until our first real pitch with an actual organization. To be honest, I have no idea whether the CMHR will like what we have come up with, or if they are going to think we are a bunch of unqualified students. At this stage it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we have got our first real glimpse into what we are heading into and have a better understanding of what it means to be an effective team player.
Lastly, a very important lesson from an industry professional….