by Dorothy Griffith
As public relations students, it’s easy to get bogged down with writing news releases and frantically editing our work for AP style errors. But what happens when we get too immersed in the world of public relations and neglect to observe what is going on in the world around us?
In her article “How to get the most out of a PR major” from Ragan’s PR Daily, Alexis Morgan stressed the importance of keeping up with current events. “It’s vital to know what’s going on around you,” she said. She suggested turning to Internet news stories to stay up to date with newsworthy events of all varieties.
“Money, local, crime, national, international, travel, politics, entertainment, sports, health — read it all,” she said.
An article by the Carolina PRSSA also listed “Keeping up with current events” as the number one way to ensure a well-rounded public relations experience.
Being cognizant of a variety of topics will also set you apart from your competitors. Stay interested in many different things and you’ll be surprised how it can benefit you in the future.
Morgan’s advice to PR students is to “be familiar with multiple areas of expertise.”
“The most effective way to begin your career is to set yourself apart from everyone else,” she said. “You can do this by becoming familiar in areas apart from public relations.”
Knowing about the intricacies in the current state of the economy, for example, will help you create a better budget for your organization; being familiar with journalistic principles will make it easier for you to pitch ideas to news outlets.
Much of the role of the PR practitioner is reacting to and anticipating local and national events and how they may affect the organization that you are working with. Neglecting this responsibility could be detrimental not only to your organization, but to your career as well.