Professional proficiency, service-learning and course outcomes with BRAC

For any PR writing class, I would assume that the course learning outcomes would be to become proficient in writing all kinds of media materials and be able to use AP style throughout our work. In this particular course, we have learned far more than anticipated. Not only have we learned how to write for public relations purposes, but we have learned how to do so with long and short deadlines while meeting time and platform requirements.

One extremely beneficial outcome from this course (in my opinion) was learning how to locate, evaluate and synthesize research materials. Before this class, research materials were mostly given to us and we just drafted the materials using the pre-determined information. Now I am able to create content from my own research and figure out based on the goals, what information to use in my projects.

Researching was a huge aspect of PR writing.

Researching was a huge aspect of PR writing (kcwriting.com).

While working with BRAC we have used service-learning to help promote the organization and its goals with Creative Capitol of the South. We have learned to serve the client, its audiences and format needs. We have learned how to work professionally with the real world client (BRAC) and demonstrate skills that we will use in future careers.

We have also drafted and delivered professional speeches that communicate messages to internal and external audiences. We performed our drafted speeches in the CxC studio recording room in Coates Hall where we were able to record and watch ourselves. From there we could evaluate and improve on our speaking abilities and written speeches. It was required to look and perform the speeches in a professional way.

Now, we are in process of making a professional digital portfolio. One of the most beneficial outcomes of this class is that everything we have learned can be used as examples of our work for future job interviews. We have something to show for ourselves that shows an employer our professionalism and quality of work. It also shows them that we are capable and experienced in working with a real world client and organization.

Professional proficiencies learned in the course will help in future employment.

Professional proficiencies learned in the course will help in future employment (mediabuzz.monster.com).

These are just a few of the course learning outcomes I have obtained throughout the semester. With this course under my belt, I feel as if I can handle any assignment or campaign thrown at me. I have no doubt that I will be able to complete the campaigns course with more ease than someone who did not take Jensen’s PR writing class.

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How I’ve used professionalism and ethics while doing PR for BRAC

Professionalism and ethics in PR:

Throughout our journey working with BRAC, we have learned that professionalism and ethics are imperative when working with a real life client.

As a practicing PR student, I have been taught through the Manship School that everything we do, write or say represents our clients. The reputation of a client is very important in engaging and keeping customers. As a senior, I am constantly reminded of the need for professionalism when interviewing and potentially working in the real world.

Professionalism is how we do our job.

Professionalism is how we do our job (corinaedwards.wordpress.com).

Jensen has provided us with some key points on how to be a responsible professional. Here are some points I thought were most important:

1)   “Professionals know how to accept valid criticism from superiors or from other professionals or colleagues who are in a position to evaluate their work.” The point of an internship or first job is to learn. If given criticism I think it is so important to be able to take it and use it to make you better.

2)   “Professionals accept responsibility for their own actions and do not try to shift the responsibility for their own actions (e.g., sloppy work, missed deadlines, etc.) to others. Being honest and owning up to your mistakes makes you not only a better person, but a better professional (if you learn from them).

3)   Professionals keep appointment (meetings, classes, etc.). One of my worst flaws is not being on time and I have really tried to improve on that while in college. I do not like when other people are late, so I should not be late or miss an appointment either. No one likes to be stood up.

While working with BRAC, we have practice meeting deadlines, sticking to commitments and how to represent them professionally in the best way we can.

Ethics:

Ethics tell us what is right and wrong (leadershipbyvirtue.blogspot.com)

Ethics tell us what is right and wrong (leadershipbyvirtue.blogspot.com)

According to the PRSA article Ethical Guidance for Public Relations Practitioners, “…protecting integrity and the public trust are fundamental to the profession’s role and reputation…successful public relations hinges on the ethics of its practitioners.” PRSA has also created a Code of Ethics for all members to follow.

It is our duty as public relations practitioners and students to provide the public with accurate and truthful information. We must also use open communication and always respect the confidentiality of our clients. If we were to produce a media material about BRAC that contained false or incorrect information, we would be jeopardizing the credibility and reputation of the organization. It is our job as students to follow the agreement we made with BRAC at the beginning of the semester.

Stay tuned for my next post about my journey with BRAC.

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How service learning with BRAC has shaped my view of PR

In the beginning of this course, I understood what service learning was but have now gained a better idea through our experience working with BRAC. The Manship School provides opportunities for service learning in several PR classes where students do work for real clients. Our MC 4001 course has worked directly with BRAC to raise awareness of all the things Baton Rouge has to offer in order to attract more people to the Baton Rouge area. In doing so, we have used new technologies and social media with the geo-location based mobile application, SCVNGR.

Service learning has expanded our experience while practicing PR

Service learning has expanded our experience while practicing PR (bren.highpoint.edu)

Working with BRAC has benefited us as students as well as BRAC’s Creative Capital of the South. We have gained knowledge of working with a real world client and how to meet an organization’s expectations while also helping BRAC raise awareness of Baton Rouge as the Creative Capitol of the South. According to the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, “Through service-learning, young people… use what they learn in the classroom to solve real-life problems. They not only learn the practical applications of their studies, they become actively contributing citizens and community members through the service they perform.”

How working with BRAC has shaped my view of PR:

Working with BRAC has helped us gain great skills in PR

Working with BRAC has helped us gain great skills in PR (http://thepeoplesrepublicofpr.wordpress.com)

I knew going into my PR writing class that I would be learning how to draft several different types of materials for the media and internal and external audiences. I was pleasantly surprised (but overwhelmed) to find out we would be working with a client in a mini-campaign too. I have learned that in order to practice PR efficiently you must be able to communicate properly with an organization and their publics.

Researching and planning are a huge part of the process when developing a campaign. In order to reach out and raise awareness of the Creative Capitol of the South and BRAC we have to research who we are speaking to and what aspects of a city appeals to them. Our group Reveal PR had to make goals that coincided with BRAC’s and create a mission to benefit both BRAC and Reveal’s goals.

Being a part of PRSSA has showed me that PR requires constant communication with clients and publics. We do this so much with social media. Not only do we use social media in PRSSA but also in both MC 4000 level courses I’m currently taking. I understand now that while working with an organization, you represent them and adopt their goals to become an advocate for their company or cause. Check out PRSSA at LSU’s blog website here: http://prssalsu.com/

BRAC has utilized our group in a great way by incorporating the SCVNGR application.

Graduating students and young adults are one of the biggest target audiences for BRAC and also the audience that uses the social media the most. By getting our class involved they have helped us understand our impact in PR and how PR is always changing with new technologies and social media.

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BRAC’s use of social media with new SCVNGR app

It’s hard to remember a world without social media. I have been using social media ever since middle school when IM (instant messaging) was the cool thing to do. Now that everyone has smartphones, there is no escaping social media. It has become a part of people’s everyday lives, not just for individuals but organizations as well. There are so many different platforms that people use to get their messages out to the public such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GroupMe, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vine and WordPress (to name a few). By now I think it is safe to say that social media is here to stay. It is always changing and developing into new forms using new technologies. According to HowTo.gov, “Social Media integrates technology, social interaction, and content creation to collaboratively connect online information.” BRAC’s use of the SCVNGR integrates the technology of the geolocation-based app, check-ins and interaction with followers and creates content related to local businesses in Baton Rouge. Other organizations carry out similar techniques.

smartphones

Smartphone technology has played a huge role in the use of social media today (www.idownloadblog.com).

For example, one of my current internship duties at HOPE Ministries consists of “content creator” for their Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages. Organizations like HOPE rely heavily on the use of social media to keep their audiences informed in such a fast paced culture. It has also become a huge part of PR today. Social media helps create a brand for an organization. It tells the audience what the organization is about and all the great things they do. Through my search for internships, I have found that more and more organizations need people to update their social media outlets.

social media rubix cube

This rubix cube represents how intertwined social media has become with each other (www.valueprop.com).

BRAC sought out our MC 4001 class to do just that. We are helping introduce the new technologies of the geolocation-based app SCVNGR to check-in at local spots around Baton Rouge. When we check-in, we show all of our friends and followers through social media where we are. According to Accenture, “These networks can help get information about processes or technologies, share innovative practices and receive answers in timely ways.” In BRAC’s case, their networks would be our class and all their target audiences. These check-ins are key in getting the message of the Creative Capital of the South out and showing the social media world how wonderful Baton Rouge is.

Using the new technologies such as the SCVNGR app also shows the younger adults how innovative Baton Rouge is. This will hopefully intrigue the audience enough to come visit and/or think about living in Baton Rouge. Younger adults (ages 22-30) are a huge target audience for BRAC. If they can get younger people to live in Baton Rouge, the city becomes more appealing to everyone. Check out this blog to see how this age group has contributed to growth in Baton Rouge.

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PR writing class helps BRAC with unique app, SCVNGR

Hello readers! Before I begin, you should know I am a complete blogging amateur. Before taking MC 4001, I told myself I would NEVER be a “blogger”. But here I am, so bear with me on my first post!

http://observatoriodaimprensa.com.br/blogs.asp?id_blog=2

Image from http://blog.hubspot.com article on 10 Amazing Blogs About Blogging by Corey Eridon

When I signed up for my PR writing course, I had no idea exactly how much writing the class would entail. A little less than half way through the semester, I have learned way more than anticipated. I now know what service-learning is, how to use AP Style writing, write a news release, blog posts and personal branding techniques (to name a few). I’ve also become VERY familiar with the “Manship Essentials.” In this fast-paced course, I have developed a sense of how life might be working for an actual PR firm or corporation. I have no doubt that at the end of this course I will have an adequate knowledge of writing as well as a great foundation for the upcoming campaigns class.

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View of the Manship Mass Communication School Holiday Forum from balcony. http://www.manship.lsu.edu

Our professor, Dr. Jensen Moore-Copple, provided our class of 20 an exclusive opportunity to optimize our service-learning experience. She received a $10,000 grant to allow us to work with the new SCVNGR program, a geolocation-based mobile gaming app, to promote the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) in a mini-campaign. It’s a great chance to add a little something extra to our resumes that the thousands of other mass communication grads (from LSU and other universities) won’t have. Thanks, Jensen!

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While we have not used the app yet, SCVNGR will allow us to check-in and participate in challenges at local places in the community. At each location, the user completes the challenge by playing a game or scavenger hunt through the app. It is a great way to promote local businesses and create buzz about things going on in the community through each trek.  This is exactly what we will be doing for BRAC.

Baton-Rouge-Chamber-Logo

The class is separated into different groups of four, each specializing in a specific category to promote things going on Baton Rouge. My groups category is named “Uncover BR”.  Each group consists of 4 different positions including account liaison, strategy director, writing director and design director. My position as strategy director requires me to think of ways to get BRAC’s message across by looking at what interests tourists as well as residents of Baton Rouge.

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Our Mission: “Uncover BR” will be working to promote the Baton Rouge area as well as the unique opportunities Baton Rouge and its 9 parishes have to offer through the use of SCVNGR.

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Our goal: To use the treks on the app to promote Baton Rouge as the Creative Capital of the South, a quality of life website about Baton Rouge. During our first meeting with Julie Laperouse, BRAC’s director of talent development, she explained that the purpose of the Creative Capital of the South program is to tell people what is going on around Baton Rouge. I can’t wait to get started!

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