A NOTE TO ALL OF MY FRIENDS:
I’M GOING ON VACATION FOR A WEEK AND WILL NOT HAVE ANOTHER BLOG POSTED UNTIL NEXT FRIDAY, AUGUST 28TH. AFTER LISTENING TO AN NPR “MORNING EDITION” SEGMENT ON VACATIONS, PRODUCTIVITY AND HEALTH, I’VE DECIDED I REALLY NEED TO TAKE A VACATION!! THANK YOU AND I’LL BE WRITING AGAIN SOON 🙂
Valerie Simon (@valeriesimon) and I just announced that #PRStudChat will be a monthly event. I was thrilled by the enthusiasm and incredible response we received by students and PR professionals on August 19th when we held our first discussion. Our Twitter chat was a success and we’re preparing for the next one.
I have to admit that I was a little concerned over managing the flow of the conversations and making sure that everyone’s questions were addressed and answered in a timely fashion. I’m happy to report that TweetGrid was a tremendous help. It was my first time using the application. I had 3 grids set up, one for the #prstudchat hashtag, another for @dbreakenridge replies (because I asked students to send me questions directly w/out the hashtag) and the last grid was for DM’s so that Valerie and Jacqueline, my PR manager could DM me if I missed something that needed to be addressed. TweetGrid worked so well! I definitely recommend it to anyone who has to moderate or manage a chat session.
Now, as much as I felt organized and well equipped to manage the discussion, there were a few questions directed to me that slipped by. Of course, it’s expected with over 900 tweets in an hour’s time. Although many of these questions may have been answered by my peers, I thought I’d take the time in this blog post to give you my perspective on them. But, remember, anything that wasn’t answered in full or questions you still have can always be discussed in the #PRStudChat LinkedIn Group, or we can certainly tweet them out during our next session.
Here are the questions with my answers:
(Q1) Any specific business courses students should enroll in? Yes, Marketing Management, Operations Management and Financial Accounting: End Users Approach were among my favorite courses. As a PR business owner, these courses really helped me.
(Q1) What type of communication classes? I think PR and Social media (if it’s offered), PR writing, speaking/presentations, PR research, PR strategy and International PR are all great classes.
(Q1) For graduate school, should PR students go for an MBA or a Masters degree? What about an APR? I went for my MBA because I knew I was going to own an agency. However, many of my peers working at companies in their in-house PR departments as Directors and VPs chose to do their Master’s in corporate communications. I haven’t heard any complaints from them about their decisions. I also hope someday to get my APR. As an entrepreneur, I chose the business route and then started writing books about 10 years ago, which takes up a lot of my time. Everyone takes a different path; I think whatever path you choose, you should further your education along the way.
(Q1) How much attention to pros give to degree minors when looking at potential candidates? That’s a great question. I always look for a well rounded person but I don’t think I’ve ever specifically chosen a person because they had a major and minor degree. Of course, all education is impressive, but you can have degree upon degree (all the way up to a Ph.D), but if you don’t present yourself well and lack confidence, energy and enthusiasm, then you may not be a 1st choice candidate.
(Q1) How about new media proficiencies? I think I might be biased having just written PR 2.0 and a book with Brian Solis (@briansolis) about Putting the Public Back in Public Relations that focuses on the importance of social media communications. I am a big proponent of new media proficiencies and believe PR people should be change agents in this area.
(Q1) Why wait a few years before getting your MBA and why not right out of college? My MBA was an intense program. I attended Fairleigh Dickinson University (where I’m an adjunct professor now) and many of the people in my classes were older and far more experienced than me. I was happy that I was in the work world for about 8 years after college because it was easier to work on a team, be confident in my presentations, and be able to take business knowledge and apply it to many of my class assignments. I was very happy that I waited.
(Q3) What do people think about MyRagan.com as a PR social networking site? I enjoy MyRagan.com very much and find a lot of interesting blog posts and helpful comments from other professionals. I also find the MyRagan video’s to be extremely informative.
(Q5) Is there a timetable in relationship building? How long does it take to build a solid relationship? I don’t think there is a timetable and each relationship is different. However, the more you put into the relationship the more you will get out of it. I’m finding that social media is allowing me to build relationships more quickly. Not that we would ever want to replace face to face interactions, it’s just you can feel more connected to someone in between the in-person visits. However, with all relationships you have to nurture them over time.
I hope that I was able to answer some more of the questions that may have quickly passed me by during the first #PRStudChat. I’m sure I will become more proficient with the chat sessions as time go on. I want to thank everyone for their participation and enthusiasm and I can’t wait for our next session. Let’s keep the conversations going!