Information PRovided

      28 Comments on Information PRovided

Alumnus Stephen Karaolis (r) of Kwittken PR networks with students in November

As another semester grinds to a close, I’m reflecting on the valuable information provided by both seasoned and newly-minted public relations practitioners in recent weeks. We’ve attended lectures, workshops and conferences, networked with dozens of seasoned PR professionals plus alumni just starting their careers, and one thing is certain: after a 35 years of working in and teaching public relations, I’m always learning. Here are some of the “takeaways” my students and I have absorbed these last few months:

  • Communication professions are evolving more swiftly than ever and people’s use of media is in a constant, accelerated state of change.
  • As new developments take place, PR becomes increasingly challenging. PR people are expected to master everything from integrated marketing to social and traditional media to analytics to event planning to reputation and crisis management to desktop publishing and online platforms.
  • Emphasis on owned media (social, websites, blogs, other online communication) is overshadowing more traditional earned media (print, TV and radio placements).
  • Reaching key influencers is fundamental, and content creation is crucial.
  • PR practitioners must craft stories to advocate for their clients, so good writing skills are essential. There can be no success without them.
  • The ability to find and creatively tell compelling stories will make you valuable to employers. The ability to effectively persuade, inspire and motivate audiences will make you a PR superstar.
  • “Self-starters” and “problem-solvers” are phrases often used to describe the kinds of people companies are seeking to hire.
  • Confidence in your own capabilities is a major key to success. Companies want employees who can network, have a phone conversation, write copy, and are sure of their own ethics and decision-making in any given work situation.
  • “Do what you like to do” may be an overused phrase, but it still rings true. You need to believe in and enjoy what you’re doing, who you’re working for, and why you’re doing it. Otherwise, you won’t do it well.
  • Know what’s going on around you. Be curious. Read, watch, listen, research, learn.

What have been your “takeaways” this semester? Will you be ready for this challenging, rewarding profession? Your thoughts?

28 thoughts on “Information PRovided

  1. czackarypenn

    Though I am a Journalism major, I knew taking public relations would be great to help me understand the relationship between PR people and journalists. I will likely not become a PR practitioner myself, but I now know what PR people are after and how they effectively communicate a message. I no longer consider PR people as just “spinners of the truth,” but rather as people trying to effectively bridge a communication gap between businesses and their publics.

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  2. Patrick Picarsic

    Writing is a lot like physical fitness. It deteriorates with lack of use, and could take a little time to get back. First semester felt like literary boot-camp, but it’s coming back. Can’t wait for winter!!!!!!

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  3. Daniella Opabajo

    This semester I learned more about the different fields in public relations and how many options there are in the field. From food PR to government PR, almost every field can benefit from having a strong public relations team. I also learned how important it is to be transparent and honest with your audience. I leaned this from analyzing case studies but also from what is happening in our nation today. I am excited to learn more about what the field has to offer next semester.

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    1. Summer

      Some major takeaways from our program I’ve committed to my practice is that to have a diversity of thought at the table. Often times companies will produce content without consulting the diversity of stakeholders they represent. For example, Pepsi and Shea Moisture and Dove. Another major takeaway is that it’s always important to have a crisis plan and have a point person of contact that is media trained.

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      1. Owen Lewis

        Echoing this, there needs to be a plurality of voices and thinkers at the top. I think the sameness, if it continued, would alienate future stakeholders, especially in the United States. It’s expected that a majority of the US population will be multicultural within the decade, otherwise the next two. Communications people need to be aware of this and be sure to continue to keep a broader perspective.

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  4. Gianna Losquadro

    There’s so much takeaway from the semester in such a small amount of time! All of the classes I’ve had so far have been valuable in experience. Truthfully, with working full time, I was worried it would be challenging to juggle both. But I’ve found a groove and I’m ready to take on the next year head on! I’ve also learned how important it is to be true to yourself. Part of my reasoning for going to grad school was to figure out what niche of public relations I could see myself doing long term. In just a few months’ time, I’d had both students and professor inspire, motivate and challenge me to rise to the occasion, to end up in the field of public relations that creatively excites me most, even if it’s not what my background is in. I look forward to next semester and all the time to follow.

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  5. Amina

    This semester while also doing PR for in Manhattan, I have learned how important relationship in the PR industry. Relationships with our clients, relationships with our bosses and relationships with creative directors and journalists. It is SO important as PR practitioners to keep positive relationships with those in our field and build good, lasting connections with whomever we met.

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  6. John Grillea

    My last semester in the PR grad program is bittersweet. I have learned so much from you and all of the other professors here at Hofstra. You all have given me so many takeaways and lessons that I will value forever! What stands out to me most is the owned media aspect. As social media is only evolving and here to stay, our jobs aren’t just 9-5 anymore. PR professionals are working 24/7 at all hours! Creating relationships to benefit our work has also stood out to me. Our class this semester has truly showed me how vital strong relationships with reporters are. Relationships are key for our work!

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  7. Jessica Gilmour

    As a marketing major, PR has been especially interesting to me. It opened my mind up to more ways of reaching consumers that doesn’t involve advertisement. I think that this class has given me an edge up in regards to knowledge in the integrated marketing process. Also, having the knowledge to write a decent press release, fact sheet, backgrounder, and pitch letter will definitely be something that I am excited to pull out of my bag of tricks at an interview or job. Thank you Professor Morosoff!

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  8. Nichole Bingham

    Since the semester is coming to a close I didn’t know much about PR until now. The PR industry looks like a fun yet competitive place to work at. I don’t think the PR world is a good fit for me. It’s a little confusing at times and there are a lot of rules and outlets that you have to go by. There is a lot of work that goes into being a PR besides being persuasive and talking to people daily. You have to write pitch letters, fact sheets and a lot of other things that I didn’t know about. It was nice getting to know what PR was all about and I looked forward to the fun quizzes we take in the beginning of class.

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  9. Chris Bounds

    After viewing and understanding what a PR profession demands from an individual this semester. I have realized that every exercise we did in class was to help us cultivate our PR skills. I learned this, especially with my own writing skills. I figured out my strengths and weaknesses as a writer, but this has allowed me to narrow down what I need to improve on. During the PRSSA networking dinner, I was also able to gain insight from graduates who had just entered the field. This gave me another understanding of all the different jobs that can be required of one if they move forwarded with PR. In short, I am very excited to see what my potential is in the PR industry and maybe if I can be a PR superstar!!

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  10. Kaitlyn Cusumano

    There are many valuable life and career lessons that have resinated with me throughout the course of the semester. Something that I have learned is what Public Relations is and all the facets of the field. When people think of PR they think crisis management. More often than not people do not understand the complexity and what exactly falls under the public relations field. I have learned just how many different fields and jobs one can have by being a Public relations practitioner.

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  11. Steven Freitag

    One thing I took away from this semester was that you need to know people in almost any profession, whether its PR or film or TV. As an aspiring Commercial Producer, I know that to get into the business, I need to know the right people and know how to communicate with them. Certain professionals have specific use of language, and if you know that lingo, you can be more appreciated and liked by the people in that profession.

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  12. Brianna Flynn

    It’s amazing how much you can continuously learn lessons in a career, and this is especially the case in Public Relations, because we are dealing with tools and resources that are bound to change, like technology and the media. This semester, I learned that with knowledge and ownership comes great power. This refers to the few who own majority of the media, as I assume that the knowledge they have about everyday people and what kind of media they take in is insane. Another important takeaway from this semester is that if something is trending online, it will catch the average social media/media user’s eye. And in this society, that’s everyone. However, it is important not to take advantage of the fact that you can completely control someone’s viewpoint just because something you post goes viral. An example is when the snip of that Dove commercial went viral, missing out an important portion of the commercial that could completely shift one’s view on the company. As PR professionals, this can be a lesson about the power and price of making something, but not the whole portion of that thing, go viral and affecting people.

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  13. Ian Budding

    What I’ve taken away from this class is that public relations has an even more broader history and origin that I had originally thought before I took this class. I started to notice how historical events that I had originally learned about before in earlier classes were starting to come to fruition and how they related even more to the curriculum of the course. Public relations is not my major, but this class opened my eyes to how complex the field actually is and how taking shortcuts should be avoided at all costs. The job entails a company’s reputation and the fact that someone is hired with it in the palm of their hands does sound scary. But with the right representative, they will help advance the company into even brighter horizons.

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  14. Paula Chirinos

    Being the first Public Relations class that I have ever taken, I really do feel as though PR 100 gave justice to the versatility of the field and its professionals. When my parents first asked me what my major was, I wasn’t able to offer them a clear answer of what such a profession offered until I was exposed to a number of events, meetings, lectures and organizations that provided a good background as to what PR essentially is. The class learned the very definition of Public Relations, and other fundamental principles such as ethics, history and campaigning strategies. I was able to see how this type of knowledge is applied in the field by interacting with professionals who presented during meetings and events organized by PRSSA. I also used this knowledge to help me plan a number of events with other organizations I’m a part of at Hofstra campus. This semester has definitely reinforced my passion for the career as a whole.

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  15. Matt Howard

    My biggest takeaway from this semester is to do something that stands out. I grew up with the notion that entering the professional world means forcing myself into a box and becoming robotic in a lot of ways. What I’ve come to learn is that employers are looking for someone who has the ability to be professional but also has something special. With so many intelligent and ambitious young professionals competing for the same jobs, it is important for to differentiate myself from the pack. Some of the most successful PR moves take creativity and guts. Those ideas are what I’ll be taking with me from this semester. I’m never done learning, but I sure have learned a lot over the past few months.

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  16. Unice Kim

    I still can’t believe that this semester is almost over. I have learned a lot from this class. I started this class not knowing anything about Public Relations, but now i have a good understanding about Public Relations. I also thought it was very helpful networking with PR professionals. I learned a lot from them about PR and how to network. I am not a PR major but now I am definitely interested in taking more PR classes in the future.

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  17. Megan Pohlman

    I have learned so much about PR this semester which has prepared me a little more for the real world. There are two things that will always stick with me. First of all, I know I need to remember that my first job will probably not be my dream job, but we all must start somewhere. There are so many options with a PR degree and most people move around a lot. At the networking dinner, I remember many professionals saying they rarely stay in the same place for more than 2 years. The other “takeaway” I absorbed this semester was “nothing is off record” when talking to a reporter. I have learned this in PR 100, as well as, my media ethics class. It is engraved in my brain and I will never make the mistake of asking a reporter to keep something off the record. Overall, I am excited to work in this fast paced environment in a few years and cannot wait to see where I go in life.

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  18. Rosaria Rielly

    Before this semester I was nervous about public relations because I just declared from undecided at the end of the spring semester. Through this class and through all the PRSSA sponsored events, however, I grew such an excitement to someday work in this field from how versatile it is and how much you can do from one position. I am the type of person that loves staying as busy as possible and I love being involved in as many ways as I can with multiple organizations. One of the biggest takeaways from this semester is that I must be able to stay up- to- date with the most effective means of communication and must know how to network. The networking dinner was really interesting to me as I learned how many different fields of PR there are and learned how everything needs PR. I hope that I could combine my interests and hobbies outside of public relations when I enter the workforce, but I know that there are so many interesting fields of PR to explore.

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  19. Delaney Barac

    Going into this semester, I could not give you even a brief synopsis of what Public Relations was. I have learned so much through lectures, class discussions, and networking events. My biggest take away from this semester was that you need to always be evolving in PR. You can never settle. You must be updated on current news, issues, and trends. (trivia!). I think one of the most important things I have learned this semester is that PR is a field where practitioners are constantly learning and growing.

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  20. claudiabarnard

    The biggest takeaway from this semester and PR in general is to make connections and always be open to new opportunities. Whether you know exactly what you want to work in/work for, making connections with all different types of people is bound to help you in the future. Also before this semester I had the mindset of I know what I want to do and Im not going to do anything else but after the networking dinner I became way more open to the different fields of PR.

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  21. Kristina Barry

    This semester I gained a better understanding about what PR is all about. It really opened my eyes to how many different routes you can take in PR. I think what was the most helpful for me was the networking dinner. There I was able to hear first hand experiences and learn all the different jobs you can do after leaving Hofstra with your degree. I was not aware of how “broad” and interesting this field was. I am looking forward to learning even more next semester!

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  22. Haley Nemeth

    This semester really did teach me a lot of traditional PR and more modern PR. Probably the biggest takeaway was that there are so many different routes you can take in the industry. One can specifically work in event planning, social media, pitching, managing, etc. One can also try and juggle all the different tasks of PR and encompass them into one job. PRSSA was very helpful this semester by holding career building meetings as well as informative meetings with PR professionals in different industries.

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  23. McKenna Heim

    I have learned more than I thought I would this semester. As it comes to a close I’ve not only been exposed to some real-world practices of public relations, but have been taught timeless formalities and guidelines that help me build more of an understanding about what I should be doing when I am 100% in the working world. What excites me the most is my new internship that I received based on things I was knowledgeable about and owe this class as well as this major program.

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  24. Raffaella Tonani

    I think communication majors are curious by nature. Communication allows practitioners the flexibility to be interested in multiple fields and pursue those interests, whether its through film, journalism or PR. But whether you are a communication major or any major for that matter I think it is important to understand, we are still students after college. We are to be constant learners, about different topics and from coworkers, friends and even strangers.

    One of my takeaways this semesters has been that PR allows you to be in contact with other areas of communication like journalism, advertisement and marketing and that being a practice based on relationships, a PR practitioner tries to take in to account as many ideas as possible. I found branches that I did not know existed in PR that I would like to explore further, specially CSR or preparing people to talk in different media. Though whatever anyone does, they must be ethical, I need to be able to trust my coworkers and the company I am working for.

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  25. Ana G Canahuate Torres

    I have learned so much throughout the semester about the different areas of PR and what it really means to be a practitioner in the field. All of the different tasks that one has to take in order to work on this field of communication and how one has to know how to deal with certain ethical situations. I am very proud of joining the PRSSA and also being able to balance my responsibilities in the chapter with my athletics which is very important to my personal growth. I feel that it is important to learn about the history of my major and how important it is.

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  26. Abby

    This semester was a really eye opening for me to have a better understanding to what public relations is all about. Not only was I taking the first public relations class for my major, I was able to learn about what goes into to being a PR major and what the job specifically entails. It was great joining the PRSSA and attending the networking dinner, where I was able to meet with professionals from many companies. I’m looking forward to learning even more about it and working in the field some day.

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