On the first day of class, we were all asked what we thought public relations was and why we were in the class. To be honest, when we were asked those questions I didn’t even know what class I was in. Just that I was supposed to be in that room at that time… When I discovered that it was a public relations (PR) class I was a bit curious as to what the class had entailed. I was a little excited and a little confused but I went with the flow. Then we were told that this class was a full-time job and that we would need twitter, Instagram, manage a blog, and create a planbook; which I didn’t even know what a planbook was.
None the less the semester continued on. The first few weeks I felt so lost in the class. I had no idea what we were supposed to do and I was just hoping that I wouldn’t fail the class. As the weeks went by things started to make more sense. After the first blog, blogs were easier to write, assignments were easier to understand, and things were good. Although at times, we were swamped with a boat load of assignments from other classes and the last thing I wanted to do or had time for was to write a blog post about some random topic, I managed. Sometimes I felt like I neglected that class a bit while other students in the class spent every waking minute breathing PR, but I knew I would catch up.
The planbook was a whole other surprise in itself. Never did I think I would write something that was near fifty pages long. The best part about it was that I actually had fun doing it! Although I do wish we could have had perhaps a less dry client (sorry history department…) and had more time to focus on just the planbook, rather than trying to juggle it with my other classes. I’m not a PR major and I don’t think that really want I want to be, but I did enjoy the campaign and I wouldn’t mind doing it again!
To address the real question and purpose of this blog, do I understand PR better now than I did the first day? The answer is yes and no. If you asked me to define PR I probably still couldn’t give you a correct definition, sorry Adrienne. However, if you asked me to help you with something using PR, I got you covered! I think what I learned most this semester is how to implement PR, which is what I wish more classes did. No one really cares about the definition of your job. What good is knowing the definition of PR if you can’t actually use it as a skill?
Adrienne Wallace may leave a bitter-sweet taste in your mouth. She’s sometimes half-crazy and you questioned who even allowed her to stand in front of the class and the other times you think, this crazy lady might actually know what she’s talking about. She’s a great professor for CAP 220 and you should definitely take her if you can.
Our assignments and timeline of due dates were very helpful. Although at times the blogs may have seemed pointless and like busy work, it taught me how to write a reliable and somewhat interesting post. Which they say can be useful in PR, so they say. Having an actual client come in and pitch their problem and to be able to create a full planbook to help them was a great tool in learning how to utilize PR. The timelines we were given for due dates were great because they gave us enough time to get them done yet push us to keep us on track. I liked how they had due dates but weren’t actually due. The timeline was for our own benefit and was for peer review. That way I knew if I was on track but if for some reason I just couldn’t quite make the deadline it wasn’t a huge deal. However, I could see how for some people that could be difficult for them to self-manage and stay on track; but hey we’re all adults, right?
Overall we completed a successful planbook for the history department. I learned how to use PR through various mediums. I had a great semester, probably the best semester I’ve had thus far in my four years at Grand Valley. I have a better understanding of PR and now onto finals week, and new adventures.