PRofound impact

      20 Comments on PRofound impact
Hofstra's PRSSA leaders (spring 2014)

Hofstra’s PRSSA leaders (spring 2014)

A new academic year is about to begin and I can’t wait.  Across the country approximately 21 million students will be enrolled in college, more than ever before, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.  Most members of the freshmen class will have been born in or around 1996, about 37 years after me.

These numbers represent a challenge for educators my age, especially when teaching a subject as ever-evolving as public relations.  Many of us can remember when press releases were created on typewriters and mailed in envelopes using stamps we had to lick.  Since those primitive tools, we’ve witnessed astounding changes, and as professionals we’ve had to keep our skills sharp and up-to-date.  We former PR pros must stay ahead of the curve to teach the latest trends, techniques and tools with future public relations practitioners.

Even during the four years I’ve been teaching full-time at Hofstra University, change has come fast and furious.  For example, college students now favor using Twitter and Instagram over Facebook.  Online video is rapidly becoming the most effective way to move people to action, and YouTube is now the second most-used search engine, behind Google.  These changes in how people are using social media have profoundly impacted the way PR people do their jobs.  We don’t just pitch stories, promote clients and diffuse crises; we have to be content providers — creating words, pictures and video for online platforms and web sites in an ongoing planned effort to gain attention and inspire positive attitudes and responses.  To do this, we need to be more than good writers and pitch-persons; we must manage and master the current multi-media desktop and mobile tools, and use them to tell our stories very effectively.

For the new PR students who may think the profession is about red carpet events and flashy media moments, it’s more often not.  Most of what we do is to use traditional and new media tools create content to initiate, persuade and change opinions.  I’m excited about what’s next…are you?  Your thoughts?

 

20 thoughts on “PRofound impact

  1. Nicole

    I agree 100% with the constant changes in society and how the younger generations operate and use technology. I personally am so captivated by Public Relations because of those constant changes. Social Media, Web usage, Newspapers, Magazines, etc. all play a factor when working in Public Relations and it is exciting and intriguing when new advancements are made. I am fortunate to be growing up in this time era, getting the chance to witness all the adaptations and changes that are being made within the Public Relations society.

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  2. Kyle Walker

    I find social media to be a very interesting part of PR and at my internship got to create content for multiple clients. It is a challenge to create content that will engage other users. You can post for a client three times a day but this doesn’t mean this is successful use of social media. The content needs to be relevant, interesting, and engaging.

    As well as using social media for clients, Facebook and Twitter now give PR professionals the new opportunity to build relationships and pitch ideas to journalists through this medium. This is a smart idea since journalists get so many emails every day something new like a twitter interaction may spark their interest.

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  3. nixa Blevins

    Although it might seems simple, it is important for professionals to remember to educate themselves after graduation. Some people might not think its necessary to keep learning.

    I appreciate that public relations is constantly changing, forcing our professionals to think outside the box.

    I love that public relations keeps me on my toes with something new happening every day. I am excited to learn more about the rapid changes in the public relations industry this semester.

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  4. Amy Schildwaster

    It is truly exciting living in a world where technology is evolving non-stop but it does make me wonder when traditional tools and tactics will no longer be in use or if they will always be the standard for public relation efforts. One thing I can predict is that even though many jobs can be digitized, public relations cannot be pawned off to computers or outsourced, it has to be done by people who are knowledgeable and passionate about their clients in order for it to be successful.

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  5. Elizah Morales

    I find it extremely interesting that public relations is not a career that is strictly dedicated to red carpet events and flashy media moments. I find this interesting because the media portrays this particular career to be so glamorous and exciting. When watching TV shows like Sex in the City and The Game the audience often sees PR people fixing a celebrity’s image while being dressed in the most expensive professional clothing out there. It’s incredible how the media paints this unrealistic image of the average PR person. If it weren’t for reading this blog or attending my first public relations class last week, I would most likely still think that Samantha Jones, a character from Sex in the City, is the most accurate portrayal of a person who works in the field of PR. For that reason, I am extremely excited to begin my journey into my first public relations class so that I can learn what this field truly entails.

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  6. michaela marano

    There is no doubt that PR is ever-changing, which i believe, is the best thing about it! There is never a dull moment, and those who work in PR must always be on their toes, willing to accept new concepts and tools in order to perform most effectively. There is always something new to learn. It is reassuring to me as a PR major that I will leave Hofstra University with a degree that has the ability to fit in with the times. Who knows, by the time I graduate, Facebook could be a thing of the past. Despite the fact that typewriters are no more, no matter if your tweeting, making a video, or putting out a good old fashioned press release, there are basic effective PR strageties that can be used in all platforms, with a little tweaking of course…Thats the wonderful thing about PR and its exciting to see what could be next!

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  7. Sarah Lopez

    It’s definitely an exciting time to be learning more about the Public Relations industry. The rapidly changing aspects of Public Relations is what initially attracted me to the industry. It’s really amazing to see the industry evolving as we’re studying the traditional and new tools that have been incorporated into client work. With new tools and technologies, we are seeing that the use of traditional media tools isn’t enough to reach a specific audience. In reference to social media, it’s such a powerful tool that has been greatly incorporated into the Public Relations industry. We even see that some Public Relations agencies have teams dedicated to solely running the social channels for specific clients. I absolutely agree with your statement that we have to be “content providers.” For example, the Public Relations practitioners responsible for the social channels of a given company have to create and distribute content that will appeal to an audience and make them react to it. Media trends are constantly changing which is why I feel that Public Relations is an industry that allows you to learn new things every day. It’s crucial that Public Relations practitioners are aware of new and emerging trends so that they can adapt to the changes. But, it’s important to not lose sight of the traditional tools that first put Public Relations on the map. The traditional tools and new media tools should be used to create a comprehensive Public Relations plan for any given company.

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  8. Felicia Colavito

    This constant evolution mentioned above is exactly why I love Public Relations. PR is always changing and it amazes me how quickly people can adjust to these changes. In this day and age we are constantly out with the old and in with the new. Last summer everyone around me, including myself, was obsessed with the app called VINE, and as soon as “Insta Video” emerged, VINE was old news in a little less than two months. I remember a time when everyone was playing “Temple Run” on their cellular devices, and then it was “Candy Crush,” and then “2048.” There is always going to be something new, and I love watching these changes occur around me all of the time. In the field of PR it is so important to be aware of what is going on around us, especially in regards to media. I think it is so fascinating that everyday can be, and will be different. It seems that video has become increasingly popular as we can see with the rise in YouTube, being the second most-used search engine. This makes me so excited to see what is to come next!

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  9. Courtney Zanosky

    My interest in PR definitely leads itself to the ever-changing and dynamic characteristics of the field. I find it thrilling to know that I can enter a career where I will always be learning and being forced to keep up with the times. I strongly believe that the PR field is one of the few fields that makes it hard to become an “out-dated” person. While many adults are confused by new technology and social media, this is almost an impossibility for someone in the PR field, and this is something I find incredibly important. We live in a changing world, and it is my desire that I can always stay connected to it. For this reason, I am excited for my first PR course and the future of our culture.

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  10. Sarah Abuharaz

    The reason I’m so interesting in PR is because it is all about the “now.” It is constantly changing and it keeps us up to date on what is currently happening. It’s crazy how Facebook’s popularity declined after being a huge part in social media. Most young people prefer Twitter and Instagram. Now, it seems to me people are even starting to stray away from twitter a little bit. There are so many options when it comes to social media that are becoming much more popular. It’s exciting to see how things change in a small amount of time. It’s so rapid due to all the technology we have in today’s day and age.

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  11. Vanessa Felder

    Change is inevitable – especially in the PR industry where it is constantly evolving. Social media truly plays an important part in the PR profession. It is fascinating just how quickly we have to adapt and always be ready for the “next big thing”. I am sure most of us remember when Myspace was the biggest phenom. Then we got introduced to twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all these other social media sites that are no longer a fad. I agree that it is very important for former/future PR professionals to keep up with the latest trends – especially those in teaching. How else will students learn if the professors don’t even take the time to do so? “Keeping up with the Joneses” is definitely a criteria for a PR firm and or practitioner to be successful.
    One of the many things that I love about PR is that no workday is the same. It isn’t just a 9 to 5 job and full of monotony. You have to constantly be on your toes and expect at any moment for things to change. Sadly enough though, our society has misconceptions about what PR really is. Most believe it to be glamour and glitz or “flashy media moments.” Not the campaigning, research, and management behind the scenes. Perhaps one day PR will be viewed in a different light and not thought of as advertising and mainly red carpet events. I too, am excited about the PR future and look forward to learning and honing my skills.

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  12. Deana Meccariello

    I am thrilled to begin learning all about public relations in its past and present state! I am excited and also frightened to see what the changes in social media may bring in the future, but I am confident this new educational journey while equip me with the knowledge and skills to deal with whatever the next generation decides to bring us.

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  13. Max Eisenberg

    I certainly agree that PR is changing rapidly, as is the rest of the world but I see no reason why we need to fade out old technology because I think it will always have its place in the business world. I for one am very slow to upgrade technology (only got a smartphone a couple weeks ago) and appreciate the traditional forms of communication because they are more personal and in PR, I believe that having a personality to your company or organization is paramount to keeping good relations with the media and public.

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  14. Lyndi Catania

    The changes that have been taking place within social media and PR tools are definitely noticeable. I do agree that a large portion of college students are starting to favor Twitter and Instagram over Facebook. While each of these outlets are currently playing important roles in PR, there are still many more new outlets and tools headed our way. It’s important to take advantage of each of these outlets, as well as keeping an eye out for new ones. I remember when the concept of the hashtag first caught my attention. I was hesitant and confused at first. Something so simple can help create easy conversation and help build a company’s following. In general, it’s very beneficial to get a client featured in different forums and to take advantage of all available tools. PR will forever be an evolving field.

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  15. Jordan Heiden

    The constant evolution of PR is good news for those of us who aren’t interested in a 9-5 office job. Aside from its excitement as a career and major, PR will never become an outdated or extinct practice. Every day is different and I cannot wait to dip my toes into my first official PR course.

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  16. Rebecca Costa

    At a PRSSA meeting last semester, a recent Hofstra graduate spoke about what she has done with her Public Relations degree since graduating. It was surprising for me to hear that one of her main responsibilities was to promote her client via Facebook. Like most college students today, social media is something that we are already accustomed to using. One of the most appealing things about PR is that it will always be evolving. Who knows what type of social media outlet will be popular next? The constant change that comes with PR is exciting and has me looking forward to what the future will bring!

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  17. quirkyderp

    As someone who is just about to enter into the field of PR, it is exciting to learn that everything I am being taught now is catered to what I know and grew up with. Compared to someone who is 10 years my senior, Facebook is something I love and have mastered. While at the same time, it is daunting to realize that in just a few years everything i am learning now will become obsolete unless I keep up or die trying.

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  18. nikkigyftopoulos

    Being a senior PR major, I have also seen the rapid changes in social media and PR tools in my last few years at Hofstra. Things are changing constantly and PR professionals have to adapt to those changes very quickly. I am frequently asked in interviews or by friends and family, “Why public relations?” My immediate answer is always the same… it is always changing and progressing. I am so happy to know that even when I graduate this year, I will be entering a career field where I will never stop learning. I am especially happy that PR professionals and educators, like yourself, realize the importance of adapting to these changes in order to keep PR tools and strategies up-to-date and successful.

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  19. bibianabogues

    I couldn’t agree with you more in regards to the rapidly changing aspects of Public Relations. One of my favorite parts about Public Relations is that it is never static, but always changing, advancing, and making adjustments in response to the needs, interests, and wants of the media. As culture changes, so does PR, which means we are always learning new things and creating modern ideas parallel to what is wanted by the public.

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