What You Need to Know as a Public Relations Student

Between classes and internships, public relations students are constantly consuming information. We learn a number of PR tools, ways to reach audiences, how to write according to the AP style guide and much more. All this information can be a lot to consume and may occasionally slip our minds, but there are some aspects of PR that shouldn’t be forgotten.

As PR students, we want to make sure that we possess strong writing skills. Whether we are constructing a Tweet or a press release, we want to be on our A-game because the content that we write will reach many people. Even if you’re receiving perfect grades on all your class assignments there is always room for improvement. One way to better your writing is through reading newspaper articles. You can learn just by seeing how other writers construct sentences and the wording they choose to use. You also may want to try blogging which is a fun way to practice your writing skills while creating an online presence.

Another element we don’t want to forget is how to form an effective and strong PR plan.

  • The first step to a great PR plan is determining your client’s objectives. What are their goals? What are they looking to get out of the campaign?
  • Secondly, you want to establish your target audience. This is extremely important when it comes to choosing your communication medium and strategies. As PR professionals, we won’t get anywhere in a campaign without a specific audience to target.
  • Third, you want to determine which strategies are best for your client. Here you decide the overall tools that will go into your campaign (i.e holding an event or pitching to bloggers).
  • Finally, it is time to create and assign tactics to each strategy. If you decide to hold an event, what exactly does your event consist of? If you are pitching to bloggers, what are you saying?

If you follow these steps, you will be on the right track to a successful PR campaign.

Last but not least, as PR professionals we need to stay with the times and know what “the story of the day is.” Our world is constantly changing and our audiences are changing with it. In order to successfully reach the public, we need to be aware of the most effective strategy to get the message out.

Currently, social media is one of the leading methods to reach the public. As a PR professional make sure you know the best ways to use websites such as Facebook and Twitter in order to benefit your client. Who knows what the next big thing will be, but make sure you don’t take too long to find out.


Daniele Natola, Junior, Public Relations

Professional’s Tips from A Night of Networking


Women in Leadership

As we make our way through our college years, networking and forming contacts for the future becomes increasingly important. Connections have become a primary way for communication students to make the transition from college into the working world. I am constantly thinking about people I know who can help me get to where I want to be. On Monday, in hopes of expanding my network, I attended A Night of Networking hosted by Hofstra University’s new program, Women in Leadership. At this event, students and recent alumni were able to listen to and get tips from a panel of Hofstra graduates who have made their way up the corporate ladder and now hold positions that would be a dream come true for many current students. This was a great opportunity to learn some dos and don’ts of the trade; but don’t panic, if you weren’t able to go, here are some helpful tips from the professionals.


Ask Questions – Lauren Ruotolo, Director of Entertainment Promotions at Hearst Magazine, is an avid believer in asking questions. Ruotolo stated that a lot of the time, when given a task, interns don’t know exactly what their supervisors are looking for. If you are not 110 percent positive you know what you are doing, make sure you ask questions. This will show that you are passionate about learning the ropes and getting things right the first time. Not to mention, you will make both yours and your boss’s lives easier.

Go Back to the Basics – Facebook, Twitter, and texting has flipped our writing skills upside down. As students, we are constantly using social media to get our points across in a fast manner – these days we don’t even have the time to write out the word “you” anymore. However, once we make our way into the working world, we need to remember that “u” is just a letter and not an actual word. Bonnie Optekman, Vice President of News Technology at NBC, told the audience to always revert back to the basics. Even in a text message, employers want to see that we are aware of proper spelling and possess good writing skills. Optekman advised to always be professional while communicating during your internships.

Snail Mail – Who would have guessed that the postal service still exists? Email has taken over snail mail and to many college students regular mail is no longer a form of communication. However, the panel of professionals believes a hand written thank you note after an interview can go a long way. It was agreed upon that receiving a thank you card rather than an email shows that the interviewee really cares. Celia Berk, Chief Talent Officer at Young & Rubicam Brands and moderator of the event, gave a great piece of advice when she told the audience to add aspects of interview conversation into your thank you notes. This demonstrates to employers that you were interested in what was going on and that you’re passionate about your possible internship. Just think about it, an extra 44 cents for a stamp can put you at the top of any professional’s list!

If you hope to be in the seats of these professionals someday, their tips and tricks are great stepping stones to get you where you want to be.



Daniele Natola, Junior, Public Relations Major