For the PR practitioner, no news is bad news

by Dorothy Griffith

As public relations students, it’s easy to get bogged down with writing news releases and frantically editing our work for AP style errors. But what happens when we get too immersed in the world of public relations and neglect to observe what is going on in the world around us?

In her article “How to get the most out of a PR major” from Ragan’s PR Daily, Alexis Morgan stressed the importance of keeping up with current events. “It’s vital to know what’s going on around you,” she said. She suggested turning to Internet news stories to stay up to date with newsworthy events of all varieties.

“Money, local, crime, national, international, travel, politics, entertainment, sports, health — read it all,” she said.

An article by the Carolina PRSSA also listed “Keeping up with current events” as the number one way to ensure a well-rounded public relations experience.

Being cognizant of a variety of topics will also set you apart from your competitors. Stay interested in many different things and you’ll be surprised how it can benefit you in the future.

Morgan’s advice to PR students is to “be familiar with multiple areas of expertise.”

“The most effective way to begin your career is to set yourself apart from everyone else,” she said. “You can do this by becoming familiar in areas apart from public relations.”

Knowing about the intricacies in the current state of the economy, for example, will help you create a better budget for your organization; being familiar with journalistic principles will make it easier for you to pitch ideas to news outlets.

Much of the role of the PR practitioner is reacting to and anticipating local and national events and how they may affect the organization that you are working with. Neglecting this responsibility could be detrimental not only to your organization, but to your career as well.

 

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5 Comments

Filed under Career, The Industry

5 responses to “For the PR practitioner, no news is bad news

  1. Morgan Beavers

    I think this such a great point. As a student majoring in public relations, I have a small taste of how busy the life of a PR practitioner can be. With work and school I sometimes feel like I don’t have much free time to keep up with current events. In the public relations field It is necessary to know what is going on in our world. We have to be able to know how to communicate with different publics. We have to prepare for future issues and not always wait until after a crisis occurs. We need to provide information to our clients that could affect their business. As experts we need to be well informed about all sides of an issue. If we support a decision we need to be able to explain why we support it, and also why we don’t.
    Lately I have discovered that keeping up with the world around us doesn’t always have to involve reading or watching news. Although these are two affective methods, it is sometimes impossible to make the time to do either. Thankfully, our generation has been given an alternative. We have the internet and various forms of social media. We are able to see what everyone is talking about through Twitter, Facebook and other social media websites. More research needs to be done before taking information to a client, but major topics can be quickly disocvered.

  2. Madolyn Price

    As a PR student, I could easily relate to this article because as students, we are inundated with assignments as well as being involved with organizations on campus to the point that we have no free time. No longer can we sit down and watch the news on TV. It is hard to stay up-to-date with current events but thanks to social media, like Twitter, it is easy to stay connected while on the go. I attended an Ad Day session and the speaker discussed having to work for companies that do not interest you. This article reminded me of the session because we need to be familiar with interests outside of our comfort zone and stay updated with these current events because they can easily come into play in our future career.

  3. Shayna Starita

    As a senior majoring in public relations, with a full-time job, I have difficulty finding the time to read the news. To stay current I have found a few solutions that don’t take up anymore of my time during the day.
    The first thing I do is turn on the television each morning while I get ready for class. I may not be paying full attention but I can catch news that might interest me, and I will go research that article later instead of taking the time to search for articles of interest. I also have a news feed on my phone with different topics so I can read articles in a wide variety of topics and locations to stay current throughout the world, in politics, economics, business and PR. Each time I see an article of interest I will read it while I am walking to class or while eating a meal. This not only eliminates having to buy or carry a paper but allows me to only read what I am interested in.
    I would completely agree with the blog in that it is necessary to know what is going on in world especially before going into the work force. I have also, focused my news feed to certain companies that I am interested in working for after college. Know the movements of your perspective career will help tremendously when it comes time to the interview.

  4. Chance Blake

    I really enjoyed reading this article. It actually put my mind at ease. When I started my college career I was a voice performance major, then changed to dietetics, followed by education, then marketing. I have always enjoyed a diverse amount of activities and subjects. Unfortunately, I had always thought this to be a negative quality until I discovered public relations. I was finally able to be involved with everything I love and not feel like I couldn’t make up my mind or pick a career. I had just been looking in the wrong place. I’m glad to see that waking up and going to bed with the news and having a billion different hobbies is not a curse but a blessing.
    Thank you for writing this article to help those of us who are a little over the top but just need a push in the right direction!

    Chance A. Blake
    UA Senior

  5. Krista Ales

    As graduation approaches, I find myself busier than ever. I am a senior with a full-time job and it has become difficult to stay updated on the current events in the world. However, I do find that it is more important now to stay updated on what is happening the world. I think that setting apart a few minutes during the day to check out current events is going to strongly benefit me when I begin looking for a job. I have recently made the effort to read the news headlines online and briefly scan the articles whenever I can. My phone is my newest and easiest way for me to stay informed. After reading this article, it only enforces the belief to keep up with the news. This article has encouraged me to stay more informed on what is happening in the world and in our career field.

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