FAQ’s From PR Students

  • What is PR?

Everyone has their own definition of Public Relations.  According to Wikipedia, it is “the practice of managing the flow of information between an organization and its publics.”  the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) says  “Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.” According to PRSA, the essential functions of public relations include research, planning, communications dialogue and evaluation.  Dictionary.com had two definitions: “1. the actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc. and 2. the art, technique, or profession of promoting such goodwill.”

I say that public relations is simply mediating communication between the client and the audience.  As public relations practitioners, we have to understand our intentions of the client and the interests of the audience.  We must act as advocates, believing that we must provide the right information to the audience the best and most effective way possible.

The field of public relations is constantly changing.  And there is always a place for a well rounded, intelligent communicator like yourself.

  • How do I get an internship?

Some great resources to find internships are at PRSSA Job Center, Idealist, Craigslist, and your Public Relations professors.

This is the basic timeline of finding an internship:

Summer Internship: Have a resume ready to submit by mid-March.  Begin your search in March and apply as soon as you see internship opportunities.

Fall Internship: Have a resume ready to submit after 4th of July holiday.  Begin your search in early July continuing until the end of summer.

Spring Internship: Have your resume ready to submit by the end of October.  Star your search in early November but expect to see more opportunities available between late November and early December.

Some other tips are to apply to as many places as possible, bring multiple copies of resume to interviews and job fairs, create a portfolio, and BE SURE to thoroughly research the company you are interviewing for.

  • What should go into my portfolio?

A good portfolio should include writing samples from class or volunteer work, a resume, any newsletters, brochures, or press kits you have created.

  • What are the PR major course requirements?

It is different for every class.  On average, every class must take PR 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, and 107.  Your required internship is PR 170.  Most students have that internship in their junior or senior year.  Some other School of Communications requirements are RTVF 1, Marketing 101, Advertising 101, Oral Communications, Public Speaking, Journalism Ethics and Journalism Writing.  Depending on your year, you are required to take either two or three electives.  Some popular ones are Online Journalism, Desktop Publishing, and Photo Journalism.

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