As Public Relations professionals, it is important to have a wealth of knowledge in many areas to cover the brand you represent adequately. In such a competitive world it is important to find a way to stand out among the others. How can college students do that if they are all in college in the same lectures learning the same material? The answer is go above just learning inside the classroom.
1.Read current news:
This past week Ron Culp, the 2015 Gold Anvil recipient came to the Olivet PRSSA chapter as a guest speaker.Students left with knowledge about standing out compared to everyone else in the field. One piece of advice was knowing what is going on in the current news. It is critical to know what is going on around the company’s brand in order to maintain and be aware of what the public’s knowledge is on the company that is being represented. Having this knowledge when going into the workplace will set a person apart. This shows that they go above and beyond to know what is going on.
Another important thing to do is read books related to the field. Being able to articulate an idea from a business book that business professionals are reading and apply the concepts to the particular brand can set a person apart. Reading business books is a good tip for the PR field. Ron Culp also said that it is critical to know about key terms and approximately how the business world works. He explained the reason is because being able to hear from a company and understand their true message can help translate it to another audience. This will benefit anyone not just on the business side of PR.
Lastly, the best way to be better in the field is by getting experience. Coming into a position with common knowledge is necessary, but to understand what the client wants will only be gained and learned by experience. Inspired Strategies Agency (ISA) is a good way students at Olivet gain experience before graduating. It gives the students a way to experience PR at a real level with real clients, and actual results. PR is a field that consistently changes and a PR professional needs to gain the experience of being able to adapt to those changes. A textbook can give the knowledge but student run agencies and internships are a way to apply that knowledge
By Baylee Harrison, Associate Account Executive, Strickler Planetarium