By Andrea Sologuren
Two weeks to go and six assignments left to complete.
It feels like yesterday we were sitting beside strangers in front of Nathan Mallett, program coordinator, learning how to write a press release.
Truth is, that was almost eight months ago! Time is deceiving and we’re now less than a month from saying goodbye to Sheridan and hello to a PR internship.
We had a blast last fall. What we learned in the first semester has helped us through our final term. These are the take-aways from each course.
Law and Ethics for Public Relations
When you are a PR professional, media eyes are watching your every move and vice versa. The wrong use of words and breaching of policies can land you in a whole lot of legal trouble. Before speaking or releasing a statement, remember — the public is watching you. You’re responsible for the protection of your company’s reputation. Learn your policies and stick to them.
Career Management for PR Practitioners
Set yourself apart. Showcase your best work in a portfolio and bring it to every interview; dress to impress; build up your resume while you study. Volunteer, freelance, find internships ahead of time and build a social media reputation. Lastly, don’t be afraid to network and call on those professionals who have your dream job — most likely they’ll be happy to give you guidance.
Writing for Public Relations
If it’s a press release be precise, place the most important information at the top and don’t forget to include a catchy headline. If you must write a feature story, have fun and be creative. Fact sheets should be interesting and informative. These are only a few examples of many writing formats, but always apply ABC to every piece you write — accuracy, brevity and clarity.
Performance Techniques for Media Relations
It is essential for PR professionals to build a strong media contact list; know how to handle yourself during media interviews and be ready for the hard-pressing questions of journalists during a press conference. Be confident, professional and always think before you speak. Also, build a wholesome relationship with media because they will be the ones helping make your stories public.
Introduction to Public Relations
Goals, objectives, strategies and tactics. We will never forget the detailed and lengthy but worthy communications plans this class taught us to create! Creating a well-versed, detailed PR plan is essential to the success of any campaign and organizational growth. Learn the difference between your goal and objective, and revisit them until you get it right — even if it takes hours of deep thought. We never said this career was easy, but it’s definitely rewarding!
Communication Design and Technology
Aren’t articles with visuals often most appealing? That is because images can sometimes explain what words can’t. This is exactly what we learned in this class: tell a story through visuals whether it be a logo, a direct mail package or a Photoshop fix. It’s all about sending a message and the personality behind every design. In this class we allowed visuals to speak louder than words — and we liked it!
These are only half of the courses we have taken during this eight-month program. As you can see, we have been trained to wear many hats and perform multiple duties from writing to speaking in front of a camera and designing. The ever-dynamic field of communications is the reason most of us chose this industry. We are thrilled to apply what we’ve learned in the real world in only a few weeks.
If you ever want to get in touch with students from the Public Relations: Corporate Communications program at Sheridan, stay tuned because our bios with contact information will be posted soon!