Monday, September 2, 2013

Help, My PR Class Is Closed!

In the past few years, Temple University has seen an increase in the number of strategic communication majors, which is great! However, it doesn't always seem so great when it's time to pick classes for the new semester. Several required courses often have a limited number of classes and most don't exceed 30 students. With such a small window for some of these courses, there may be times when you find yourself without your desired PR class for the semester. Instead of filling that space with a general education course, take something that can actually help you grow as a PR student. Just because it isn't in the strategic communication department doesn't mean that it can't help you grow as a communicator.

Graphic Design One skill that is great for PR professionals is the ability to design promotional materials themselves, as opposed to having it sent out. Learning the basics of graphic design can be very beneficial and put you a few steps ahead of other PR students. 

Journalism It's a fact that PR professionals have to be strong writers. Taking a journalism course not only helps you to strengthen those skills, but it also helps you to learn what types of stories and angles attract journalists. That can be helpful knowledge to have when pitching stories. 

Photography/Videography The more well-rounded you are, the better. Gaining basic experience and knowledge in these skills allows you to step in and offer a quick fix if needed. If you still have to outsource for photography or videography, you also know how to determine the quality of their work. 

Website Design Learning and practicing HTML and CSS will go a long way personally and professionally. Although it's an invaluable skill to have, many PR students don't possess it. This is another resume booster that will put you a step above the rest. 

PR professionals are all about productivity and efficiency. If we can tackle an assignment ourselves as opposed to outsourcing, we will. We are detail-oriented thinkers that want to ensure every element of a campaign or project is handled professionally. Learning other skills makes you more well-rounded and gives you the ability to see a project through from start to finish. 

What are some other skills or courses you think are important for PR students to have? We would love to know!

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