It’s that time of year again when I look back at previous school assignments and see how far I have come since the first day as a sophomore at Grand Valley State University. At the beginning of this semester I wrote a POST on everything I knew about the public relations world at the time (follow the hyperlink to see what I had to say). My original definition of public relations was centered around the professionals within the field getting to now the public so that the team and their client could relate to the audience on a better level. After going through my classes and learning all they had to offer me, I believe I was close in my initial definition of public relations. However, the one thing I did not emphasize in my initial definition that is important in public relations was the goal being to build a relationship with the audience and in the process changing the way they feel about a certain company or brand. Before this class, I never realized how much is involved in the public relations field.
My favorite part about this class was learning how to handle a crisis. The blog POST that I wrote on this topic was centered around the Subway crisis of 2015 (follow the hyperlink to see what I had to say). Before this class I did not realize managing one image crisis entailed so many steps and components. I enjoyed taking a crisis that I was familiar with and walking through the steps of the crisis management cycle. Going through this process gave me a look into the kinds of things professionals within the public relations field have to deal with while at work. Without taking this class I would not have known the entire process for managing a crisis. Being in the audience, we only see the crisis itself and the aftermath of it. We have no way of knowing the things going on inside the company behind the scenes. Getting this insight was definitely my favorite part of this class.
I am currently ending my sophomore year at Grand Valley State University. I am majoring in public relations and advertising with an emphasis in advertising and a minor in general business. I am confident that the skills I have acquired while in this class will prove beneficial to me in the future. I am currently a marketing intern at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts and I have been tasked with promoting the events we host at the center. The information in this class has helped me with my internship and has prepared me to deal with any situation that may come up while I am working. I have learned how to handle certain situations as they came up at work. After I graduate I want to work at either an advertising agency and I think that by knowing how to handle a crisis and understanding the way customers think during the buying process, I will be able to produce work that is effective.
A large amount of this semester has been devoted to working on a campaign planbook for the College of Community and Public Service at Grand Valley State University. When we first received the information for this assignment, it was a little overwhelming to see everything that we were going to have to do within just a few weeks. However, with this assignment coming to a close I realized now that this assignment has prepared me for the type of tasks I may be assigned when I begin my professional career. The one part of this assignment that I did not like was performing the primary research. The reason this section was not my favorite was because it seemed a little repetitive in the information my team and I were finding. I enjoyed doing the secondary research because every source I found at new information and a new perspective; however, with the primary research the information was provided solely by those that participated in the focus group and took the survey. While performing the primary research was not my favorite, I know it was necessary for the success of this campaign and I know it is probably not going to be the first time I have to perform primary research.
Looking back at everything I have accomplished while in this class it is clear that I now have a better understanding of the field of public relations and all that it entails. While my original definition of public relations was close, I know that I missed a large part of the field. This class has given me an insight into the field of public relations and has shown me skills that I am sure I will use in the future, whether it is in my next semester if classes or the career path I decide to pursue after graduation. I am looking forward to putting my skills from this class to the test.