Although DePaul University commencement exercises don’t occur until mid-June, many college graduates already have crossed the stage to claim their degrees. As I began to think about what to write to recognize this milestone, I received a post from friend and fellow blogger Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude). Edward’s following three points succinctly cover what it will take to become a future PR superstar:
- Learn the Definition of “Public Relations.” You’d be surprised at how many people out there in this great world — some who claim to be “public relations professionals” — still maintain that public relations is publicity. Or, “just like marketing.” After all, it’s easy to “get good PR.” Right? This profession keeps evolving, largely through continual new directions on the digital front. But the fundamental purpose of public relations as a strategic means to communicate and build relationships has not changed. Learn more from PRSA.
- Learn to Write (Beyond Tweets, Posts & Blogs). It’s been a long time (hey, more than a long time) since I enrolled and completed a for-credit college course. So, I’m not sure if students today are required to take a semester of English Composition 101 or some other fundamental writing course. My 101 instructor was a guy named Professor Brosnahan, a very strict proponent of the written word. He would scrawl a big red “F” on your composition for any error — spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, logic. In this era of tweets, IMs and posts, the true public relations professional will have solid writing skills that transcend 140 characters.
- PR = Business Practice = Not Free. As a public relations professional, you’ll be required to manage event budgets, approve vendor expenses, price out media distribution services and many other tasks that require money. That’s part of business, and public relations is a business. Furthermore, businesses are in business to make a profit; and, even non-profit associations with public relations departments run them like a business. Learn the business side of the industry and how to manage a spreadsheet.