PR Tools' debut

      11 Comments on PR Tools' debut

Jeff Morosoff, Asst. Professor of Public Relations, Hofstra University

After almost three decades as a public relations practitioner, I can’t begin to count how many skills and programs I had to learn to be able to do my work. From taking good photographs to producing video shoots to designing company newsletters, I was always learning communications tools on the job that were never taught to me in college.

My experience was hardly unique. In the public relations profession, whether you run a one-person shop or work in a small department, you find yourself doing a lot of everything. So many–I’ll even guess the majority–of PR people repeatedly find themselves in situations where they must enhance old and learn new technical skills.

This is why I’m excited about teaching Hofstra’s public relations program’s newest course, aptly named “Public Relations Tools”, this fall. The course was developed to give PR majors practical, hands-on experience in which they’ll learn online and traditional methods of practicing their future trade. The syllabus has been divided into several basic modules including blogs, social media, video, photography, web sites, and content design (desktop publishing).  Within the modules we’ll explore the use of a host of programs: WordPress, Tumbler, SoundCloud, Audacity, UStream, Photoshop, InDesign, and of course, the big social networking programs (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest). We’ll learn taking a proper PR picture, shooting video for online use, developing a web site, writing for social media, creating print content, and more. These are some of the fundamental skill sets PR people find themselves using and needing every day.

I don’t claim to be an expert in any of these skills or programs. In fact, I know that several of my students will be more knowledgeable that I about the tools we’ll be learning. But that’s part of the class, too. Much like the social networks we’ve adopted, we’ll share information and explore the tools that are out there. The goal is to make all of us more adept at using the PR tools our profession will continue to demand. Your thoughts?

11 thoughts on “PR Tools' debut

  1. publicrelationspro - Charles Fessel

    The PR Tools course (PR 106) was a great way to give students the edge on reaching their goals, by providing the types of tools and methods necessary to be successful and efficient in the field of Public Relations. From going into my internship before taking the course, there were many things that I did not know how to do, which PR 106 helps identify the different tools that are useful in the various scenarios likely to be encountered while on the job.

  2. Stephen Steglik

    The majority of students today probably don’t even realize the importance of public relations skills. I personally know adults that have reached a glass ceiling in their profession because they never had any experience in public relations and what one can learn from taking even a basic course. In this World it isn’t enough to be just adequate at your job it is essential to be as well rounded in as many fields as possible and courses like this one would definitively help.

  3. Lauren Someck

    This course seems like a really smart Idea. I always enjoy the classes the most that I can take away the material learned and apply it in the real world. This class seems to be ideal for communication and PR majors. Its also impressive to have these skills leaving college. I am sure this would put one at a competitive advantage when applying for an internship or job. It’s amazing how technology has changed so many professions and is now essentially necessary to be educated in this area. I also think its amazing how social media plays such a huge impact on businesses, specifically PR. I think this type of course is a great course to offer at Hofstra and at any school, The more practice students have using these tools, the more confident they will be when using them outside of school.

  4. Yasmeen S

    I think this course is a great idea on Hofstra’s part. I took a journalism class this summer that involved the use of photoshop and indesign and I absolutely loved it! (Also not to brag but I excelled greatly at it). I believe this new course will open up numerous students eyes about the world of PR and help better prepare them for the use of social media professionally.

  5. James V. D'Ambrosio

    Jeff, excellent post. Advances in technology have greatly expanded the number of tools available to PR practitioners, especially in the last several years. I just finished reading “Social Media For Social Good: A How-To Guide For Nonprofits” that focuses on this. I just submitted an article reviewing it for the September PRPLI newsletter.

  6. Louise Cassano

    Sounds like a great course for new practitioners and those of us who have been in the business before all of these wonderful tools were available. Good luck, Jeff.

  7. Laurel

    I love this! This is the type of serious course I would take as continuing ed, to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

  8. Bert Cunningham

    This course is a fantastic. It will help PR students develop the kinds of skill sets that will make them more attractive to potential employers. An online version would help some mid-career pros to update their skills in the ever changing field. Seasoned (read old) pros, like me, would benefit too. Congrats and good luck.


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