The journey is almost complete: What I’ve learned from my service-learning project with BRAC

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Wow! When I reflect on my experiences this semester in MC 4001 (PR Writing), that is the first word that comes to mind. From the sleepless nights resulting from completing assignments at the last minute, to having the task of completing a mini-campaign, this semester in MC 4001 has been hectic. As a junior mass communications major at LSU, I can truly say that this course has been the most demanding mass comm course that I have taken by far. Although this course has been demanding, frustrating and very stressful at times, being in this course has also been a rewarding experience. This course has prepared me for a career in public relations, and I would like to share a few reasons why in this blog.

As I shared in a previous blog post link, when I sat in MC 4001 for the first day I was overwhelmed. Listening to Dr. Jensen Moore read the syllabus was equivalent to a child listening to a horror story. Thoughts instantly rushed through my mind. How am I going to do all of this work? What kind of grade am I going to get? Will I have to drop this course? Throughout the course, all three of those questions have been answered, and I am satisfied with the answers.

MC 4001 has given me knowledge and experience that will be applicable to my future job. I have gained a lot of experience as a writer. I now have to ability to write a long list of documents that include: pitch letters, media advisories, social media releases and fundraising letters. Before enrolling in this course, I had no idea what some of those documents were.

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This service-learning course has also given me the opportunity the work on a campaign with a real life client. Working on a campaign for a real life client has been an exciting and eye-opening experience. My agency, Spotlight BR, has focused on helping BRAC expose visitors and residents of Baton Rouge to entertaining nightlife options.  We have developed a SCVNGR trek that features eight venues that can serve as source of entertainment for adults at night. The trek is composed of a series of challenges that take place at the eight locations. Rewards are given to application users who check-in and complete each challenge at the locations listed. If you would like to find out more information about SCVNGR, here is a link with more info here.

It is amazing that I can finally see the finish line. The end of this service-learning course is near. The journey has been long, difficult and tiring at times, but if I had the choice, I wouldn’t change anything about it.

Below is a link to a video of me describing my experience as a MC 4001 student.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ0CbcWBD2Y

If you are interested in seeing how this course affects the rest of my tenure as a college student and how it propels me to successful career in PR, you should continue to follow my blog. You can also follow me on Twitter @_Ramon_H.

A new understanding of public relations through working with BRAC

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Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, I sat in my Mass Comm 4001 (PR Writing) class not knowing what to expect. I knew that I would gain necessary experience for the field that I plan to enter one day, but I didn’t know to how much experience I would gain. As I sat and listened to my professor recite the course objectives and syllabus, I became aware that this would be a service-learning course. Not only would I have the opportunity to gain experience writing documents that PR professional write, but I also would be given the opportunity to work with a client.

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The client that my class has been given the opportunity to work with is BRAC, a nonprofit whose mission is to propel the community of the Baton Rouge metropolitan area to a more prosperous economic future. If you are interested in learning more about BRAC, you may click this link here. Working with BRAC has helped shape my view of PR. Through this service-learning project, I have learned the importance of communication in PR. Communication skills are essential to a successful career in PR. Basically, if you are considering having a career in PR but you do not have good communication skills, then you should consider choosing another field. Here is a link to an article that discusses the importance of communication in the PR practice link.

Public relations professionals are in the middle of the communication cycle. The client communicates its message to us. We communicate that message to the target audience through the most effective medium to reach that audience. The audience receives and reacts to the message. Then we evaluate how effectively we delivered the message, and we figure out if the message or medium needs to be altered. Working with BRAC, has allowed me to see the importance of this cycle. So far in this project, we have focused on communicating with BRAC so that we can effectively communicate with their target audience(s). We want the message that we deliver to align with BRAC’s message.

This service-learning project has also shown me the importance of building mutually beneficial relationships with clients. This relates to my previous post about stewardship. If you would like to read the post, click this link here.  I have realized that Spotlight BR, my group’s PR agency, and BRAC cannot have a successful partnership if we aren’t “on the same page” with one another. For each of us to achieve our goals, we need to have a relationship that functions well. The partnership of Spotlight BR and BRAC has definitely accomplished that.

As this service-learning project progresses, I am learning more about PR and what it takes to work in this field. If you want to learn more about my service-learning experiences, continue to follow my blog https://ramonhardy13.wordpress.com/. You can also follow me on Twitter @_Ramon_H for more updates.