Before beginning the Corporate Communications & Public Relations program at Centennial College, I was in a work-environment where my creativity and communication skills were not being used effectively. I knew I wasn’t happy where I was, but had no idea where I wanted to go.
The brief glimpse I’ve had into the PR world has excited me like nothing ever before. I have always had an interest in writing, I love media relations, and I finally have an opportunity to be creative.
I used to think I wanted to strictly do event planning, but now I realize that is too narrow-minded. I think I would enjoy starting my career in a PR agency and seeing what doors that will open. I like that agencies are always working with different clients and different projects. It will do well for a busybody like myself, allowing me to learn different communication techniques while also expanding my social network.
I have always been a bit slow at catching onto social media trends. In the past, I often underestimated the power of leveraging these social media outlets. I now understand that social media is an integral part to communications and PR. It can make or break you, and it is important to use it properly and effectively.
In situations like the Boston bombing, I would never have considered how many people have to immediately use PR and how important media relations are during these times. If you do not respond properly to the media, things can easily be blown out of proportion and misunderstood.
After my first semester I’ve learned a lot about myself as a communicator. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I do have a written voice and with practice and the right guidance, I can actually put out good work (who knew!). My written work, both creative and corporate, has improved significantly since the beginning of the year. I am learning to have that PR mind-set, but it has not been without struggle.
My biggest challenge has been learning to let my university background go when writing creative documents. I still find myself struggling with my creative voice, but I know I am on the right track. I do enjoy writing, but I still have a lot to learn.
Considering group assignments, I think the biggest thing I learned this year is that there is something to learn from everyone. We all have different writing and communication styles, but we all have something to bring to the table. It’s important to listen and understand all perspectives of the situation before making a decision.
As awful as it sounds, I never really read the news before taking this program. Now, I am constantly reading the paper, watching the news, and checking Twitter. I have never been so up-to-date with the news. I now find myself studying the news in more detail: the content, the headlines, and the choice of wording can be incredibly strategic. I definitely have a better understanding of why and how the media releases news to the public.
Coming into this program, I really didn’t know what to expect. After four months I have a new passion for my professional life and an unexpected eagerness to learn as much as possible about communications and public relations.
I never anticipated that the PR world was for me, but I now feel confident that this is the right path for me.