The end of the tale: Experience with BRAC and developing PR professional skills

I am  at the end of my journey with my service-learning course. This semester was filled with new opportunities, many assignments and countless group meetings. As this semester comes to a close, I am beginning to realize how much I have grown as a student and as a professional. Read this article to define what a public relations professional can do for your company.

My understanding of a pubic relations writing course was strictly practicing AP Style over and over again until the rules were embedded in my mind. However, after completion of this course, I realized I was wrong. Although AP Style is the Manship School of Mass Communication’s Bible, this particular public relations class relied heavily on creative skills as well as writing skills. I set particular goals for myself at the beginning of this semester, including to improve my writing skills. I wanted to become proficient in public relations writing, because it is a skill set I have previously lacked. Writing does not come naturally for me, but through this blog I have realized just how prominent writing is in public relations. This article demonstrates exactly how important writing is in public relations.

One course learning outcome I have seen develop throughout this semester is, “demonstrating skills in writing copy on long and short deadlines and within space, time and platform requirements,” outlined in our course syllabus. The multiple assignments and real-world situations has improved my time-management skills, and enabled me to be a more efficient worker. I am so grateful for the practice this course has provided this semester.

From BP Global to Pure Flix Entertainment to TXTL8R, I have learned to execute various assignments for a wide range of companies. Without this writing course, I would not be the creative, organized student I am today.

This class threw me for a surprise when I met our client for the mini-campaign. Working for another company was new for me. I wanted to provide my best work for the client and show the value of their organization through my work. Read my last blog post on ethical practices in public relations for other organizations.

This is my first service-learning course at Louisiana State University. I was confused at first what this particular title meant, because service-learning was a foreign subject to me. It is not just being exposed to the real-world. Serive-learning is being able to participate in an organized service activity that meets community needs. After reviewing various definitions of service-learning I have developed an appreciation for taking this course. It is a special opportunity to work with a real client to develop understanding of civic responsibility and social issues through strategic materials. I have gained real-life experiences due to this service-learning class. I am dedicated to providing professional materials for our client Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

Our task is to promote the Baton Rouge area as the Creative Capital of the South. As students, we are developing skills and techniques in order to promote Baton Rouge and develop material for BRAC that will enhance the view of our capitol city. This task has definitely outlined the principles of professional proficiencies. Practicing professional skills and tactics is crucial as we develop material for BRAC.

My group’s public relations company, Reveal Public Relations, has worked tirelessly to cultivate a strong understanding of working with a nonprofit client. We have practiced ethical principles throughout our work with BRAC, because this is the most important aspect we can contribute to our mini-campaign. Working ethically and professionally with BRAC is vital in the success of our mission to promote Baton Rouge. Read how ethics has developed in public relations here.

Overall, this semester has allowed me develop a stronger understanding of the public relations professional field. The course learning outcomes provided from this course have definitely exceeded my expectations. The most improved outcome I have developed this semester is, “demonstrate skills in locating, evaluating and synthesizing research materials,” as outlined in our course syllabus. Reveal PR has developed writing material for BRAC, which required hours of research and evaluation. We proved to expand our skills, and created  material that represents our client and ourselves.

Our final project this semester is to develop and refine a professional digital portfolio. I am extremely new to the concept of a digital portfolio, so this will be a challenge for me. I have developed my portfolio using Weebly, and I hope to demonstrate my creative and professional skills on this site. This will be extremely proficient in the long run as I journey down the path to professionalism.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ReganSobiesk. I will be tweeting updates as we continue our project with BRAC and SCVNGR. Also, find me on LinkedIn. Make sure to keep up with my blog as we Uncover BR.

Putting Ethics and Professionalism back into PR with BRAC

From the beginning of my student career at LSU, I have learned the do’s and don’t’s of ethical behavior and professionalism regarding mass communication. I remember sitting in my first mass communication class, mesmerized by the countless rules and regulations that embody ethics in the professional world. Read the evolution of public relations ethics in this article.

First, I would like to define professionalism front the standpoint of a college student. I used to believe professionalism was being the best of the best in your organization. Although you may receive credit for being No. 1 through professionalism, this does not make you the best. This article gave me a new perspective of professionalism in public relations.

Professionalism is “an attitude that motivates individuals to be attentive to the image and ideals of their particular profession.” I hope through determination and hard work, I will be an ideal individual with professionalism values.

Ethics dates back to the establishment of our First Amendment right, freedom of speech. This freedom allows journalists, public relations professionals and advertisers to create and write the material necessary for an organization. Freedom of speech expanded the importance of ethical and professional practices in the work place. Without this right, I could not even imagine what the study of communication would entail. There would be no use of memorizing the principles of ethical practice, as outlined on PRSA’s website.

The communications world had transformed drastically over the past few years due to the evolution of social media. Personally, I believe social media violates multiple ethics policies. There tends to be no privacy anymore when it comes to the online world. This lack of privacy has gone as far as employers logging on to potential employees’ Facebook pages to view the content of the site. I have noticed a growing need or requirement of professional boundaries involving social media outlets. The most important ethical code in my opinion is work to strengthen the public’s trust in the profession. Trust is key to the success of public relations. In order to be ethical, professionals must garner an understanding of how they want to be perceived by their publics. Isn’t that what public relations means? “Building and establishing relationships with various publics.”

I have a commitment to being as concerned for ethical practices as I am for keeping a customer satisfied. It is my understanding that ethical practices and professionalism in the workplace involve open communication and fair competition among professionals. Practicing ethical principles inside an organization is just as important as practicing outside the organization. This discussion provides the consequences of working professionally without ethical concerns.

Regarding my service-learning project with Baton Rouge Area Chamber, I am working effortlessly to strengthen my group’s relationship with the non-profit for the duration of the mini-campaign. I am currently working with BRAC to help promote the Baton Rouge area as the Creative Capital of the South. Through this assignment, I have been able to learn ethical practices and professionalism in real-world situations. This service-learning course has opened my eyes to a new meaning of ethics and professionalism in the workplace. Not only do I want to create successful material for BRAC, but I also want to practice professional skills that will be utilized throughout my career beyond college. Through my work with BRAC, I am more focused on the service rather than the personal gain due to ethical practices and professionalism skills I have learned in college. The idea of providing accurate and truthful information is vital to the success of our mini-campaign with BRAC to Uncover BR.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ReganSobiesk. I will be tweeting updates as we continue our project with BRAC and SCVNGR. Also, find me on LinkedIn. Make sure to keep up with my blog as we Uncover BR.

Service-learning with BRAC reveals new definition of PR

Throughout my public relations writing class, I have challenged myself to open my eyes to all aspects of the profession. From PSAs to SMPs, the Manship School of Mass Communication has revealed new aspects of public relations I never knew existed.

Beginning this course, I had no idea what a service-learning class consisted of. Incorporating a service-learning project into a public relations class has increased my understanding of various concepts relating to the professional field. I feel that after completion of my service-learning class, I will be able to apply concepts that I have learned over the course of the semester into my work beyond LSU. This article helped me define service-learning in the classroom.

Gaining experience with the service-learning class has allowed me to define different aspects of public relations for specific situations. There are very different needs for a profit versus a nonprofit organization. However, I understand that the professional values all stay the same. These values include recognizing the diversity of audiences, writing clearly and accurately, applying theories, engaging in research, thinking critically and creatively, evaluating, and applying tools and technologies. Read this article to understand more of the importance of values in public relations here.

I have thoroughly enjoyed researching, writing and designing for my service-learning project with Baton Rouge Area Commerce. My team is working with BRAC to Discover Baton Rouge with the geolocation device SCVNGR. SCVNGR is a new social media technology that will enable users to challenge others in various locations. This project has introduced a new communication device for our target audience. With SCVNGR and BRAC, we will be providing a service to the nonprofit that could possibly change the outlook of the capitol city. This is essentially what service-learning means to me: Creating and researching an area that will ultimately enhance a community.

We will be working with the Baton Rouge Area Commerce to engage in civic responsibility by enhancing the community. Read how schools are encouraging civic responsibility in the classroom here.

Uncover BR consists of discovering areas in the nine-parish community that embody the culture and authenticity of the city. This service-learning project allows us to discover first-hand just how much an organization relies on a public relations team. Communicating, writing, discovering and researching are all concepts I have developed throughout this public relations service-learning course.

To be honest, the practice of public relations scares me to the point of excitement. I was terrified of the workload and the competition. Today, I am ready for the challenges that lay ahead of me. I understand how service-learning leads to a greater recognition of public relations terms and concepts. Learn the difference between volunteering and service-learning with this article.

Service-learning has given me the opportunity to solve real-life problems outside of the classroom. You can’t get that anywhere else. Service-learning and working with BRAC has prepared me for the fast-paced professional field. I have developed a meaningful concept of what the public relations field can do for an organization.

Overall, I can see the impact our service-learning class is serving to the Baton Rouge community. We all want to have bragging rights to the best city in the country, and with our small contribution, I believe we are one step closer to claiming those rights.

Discover Baton Rouge with my public relations firm, Reveal PR. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ReganSobiesk. I will be tweeting updates as we continue our project with BRAC and SCVNGR. Make sure to keep up with my blog as we Uncover BR.

BRAC’s use of social media to revolutionize its PR

Life as we know it is now surrounded by the development of social media. From chatting to friends to researching the latest news, we resort to social media to provide answers. In the public relations world, we see that the times are changing. More and more companies are resorting to these social technologies to reach their consumers on a more personal level. However, I have realized over the course of being a tech-saavy student, that social media can do much more than three main activities: joining the conversation, being transparent, and embracing you audience. I learned that the use of social media in public relations practices opens limitless opportunities for businesses. Social media is a place to start the chatter about your brand. This form of social media branding is extremely beneficial to companies.

I have discovered that businesses should not just join social media, but embrace the marketing asset. The steps to take to be successful in social media include building friendly relationships with bloggers, growing an authentic fan base and encouraging a personality for your brand. Learn more about the impact of social media here.

As my marketing professor pointed out today in class, “If you ignore social media, you will get clobbered. “ This is the direction that the world is going. If you want to succeed, keep up with the social media revolution. Public relations professionals are the trigger to get businesses to adapt to this socializing technology.

I must admit, I was extremely resistant to Twitter. All my friends, classmates and relatives were on this site, tweeting their daily activities and perceptions of reality. I was very cynical when it came time to embrace this technology. Overtime, I have learned to embrace the dominance Twitter has on the world, and I appreciate the fact that I can now be a part of a community connecting the entire world. Read about how Twitter changed the world in this article.

The service-learning project I am currently working on tends to fall back on the importance of social media outlets. We are utilizing the new, mobile-gaming system SCVNGR during our hunt to Uncover BR with BRAC. The use of this social media platform puts BRAC above the rest of non-profits, because they are introducing their audiences to a new system that will change the way audience look at the capitol city and the growing technological advancements. I think BRAC’s use of SCVNGR is a prime example of how businesses use social media to open countless opportunities. What BRAC is doing with SCVNGR exemplifies the transformation PR is going through. Read more about social media changing the practice of public relations here.

Reveal PR’s mission is to use the geolocation-based gaming platform SCVNGR to create treks for audiences. These treks will lead people to different locations through challenges with your network of friends. Our hunt to discover Baton Rouge will utilize this social technological innovation to introduce audiences to locations regarding the rich history of Baton Rouge and the new businesses that are developing.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ReganSobiesk. I will be tweeting updates as we continue our project with BRAC and SCVNGR. Also, find me on LinkedIn. Make sure to keep up with my blog as we Uncover BR.

Let the trek begin: PR with BRAC

As a public relations student at Louisiana State University, I have been given great advantages. I have learned the basics of communicating through various media outlets and been submerged into this fascinating culture of social media. I have been given the unique opportunity to learn the ups and downs of being a professional in the public relations field through my public relations writing course this semester. My classmates and I are beginning to embark on our giant step toward the real world through a service-learning project, which combines formal instruction with a related service in the Baton Rouge community. The direct applications of skills we develop over the course of this project will not only expose us to the big business world, but will enable us to develop communication, writing, and strategic skills that will be implemented for a lifetime. Read this article to define what a public relations professional can do for your organization.

This semester, I have enrolled in a service-learning course at Louisiana State University. This is my first service-learning course, and I am excited to develop an understanding of this concept along the way. This specific public relations writing course has recently been a challenge for me. From news releases to media advisories, I have conquered them all. My classmates and I have the incredible opportunity to expose ourselves to a real client this semester, because of our service-learning coursework. We have partnered with Baton Rouge Area Chamber to promote the Baton Rouge area as the Creative Capital of the South. 

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Image created by: Regan Sobiesk http://www.twitter.com/Reveal_PR

I have been selected to “Uncover Baton Rouge.” This assignment allows my three teammates and I to remember the wonders our capitol city holds while discovering new, exciting places there are. My partnership with BRAC allows me to practice professionalism values and competencies early on in my career. Read this article pertaining to professionalism in the public relations professional field. BRAC provides visionary leadership and takes decisive actions to propel the Baton Rouge community to a more prosperous economic future. It is our job, as college students, to aid in revamping Baton Rouge’s stature in the Gulf Coast region. We are thrilled to be partnering up with BRAC throughout the course of this semester.

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Photo by: Baton Rouge Area Chamber http://www.brac.org

I am the design director for Reveal PR. We are a student-based public relations team focusing on strategies to uncover our capitol city’s greatest locations that will attract both current and prospective residents to the community. As design director, I have created the logo for our project to “Uncover BR.” After finishing up our agency style guide, we are beginning our research process. This research will help us establish a strong benchmark as we continue our progression into this project. This article helped establish a strong understanding of the importance research is in public relations.

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Photo by: SCVNGR http://www.scvngr.org

This project would not be successful without the grant given to the Manship School of Mass Communication 4001 public relations writing class by SCVNGR. SCVNGR is a geolocation-based mobile gaming application, which allows users to play games with others by discovering new places. This program leads you to exciting new places with quick, fun challenges that bring the community together. Uncover BR will create treks for residents to discover Baton Rouge. These treks are placed on SCVNGR and participants must challenge themselves to find what location it guides you to. Locate our trek today and start to Uncover Baton Rouge.

My group will create treks that will bring old and new residents to locations of the city’s past and present. We hope to bring people to the places that made them fall in love with our capitol city, and then guide them to exciting locations that will make them never want to leave Baton Rouge.

I am thrilled to be working with my teammates, including Helen Butts, account liaison, Brittany Titone, strategy director and Alex Fish, writing director. I believe my team will create journeys through the Baton Rouge area that will promote BRAC and SCVNGR. Let the SCVNGR trek begin. Read this guidelines on relationship management with teammates in a professional setting.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ReganSobiesk. I will be tweeting updates as we continue our project with BRAC and SCVNGR. Also, find me on LinkedIn. Make sure to keep up with my blog as we Uncover BR.