A PR campaign is the most valuable tool a business can use to increase brand awareness or profits for years to come, even after the campaign is over. If effectively done a PR campaign will leave an impression on the target audience that will influence their attitudes and behaviors about a particular product, service, or person. However, if the campaign misses the mark or is a total flop it can harm a company or brand. It is harder to change negative opinions about a company once the damage is done, so this powerful marketing and branding tool should only be used by professionals.

Although I am not a successful PR professional yet, with emphasis on YET, I am on my way to pursuing a promising career in Public Relations. Last semester I took an Introduction course to PR, where I had to develop and pitch a mock PR campaign idea to a potential client. The PowerPoint presentation was presented to the students in the class, who served as the company. I had to follow a strict outline using the RACE process (Research, Action, Communication, and Evaluation) while staying within the allotted time frame. This detail was especially important, it made me aware of how planning and practicing are key when pitching ideas. This project required me to use written and oral communication along with public speaking skills such as voice control, volume, and pace. Overall, this exercise and the material we covered in the course helped to shape my career aspirations of wanting to be a PR professional.

This semester I am excited to be a part of 1853 Communications, a student PR firm at Arcadia University. I am getting firsthand experience and working with a diverse team, which I really appreciate because of the different ideas and viewpoints. At the beginning of this semester, we have dived right in by designing logos, budget planning and met with a client to discuss a PR campaign. Now we are in the process of developing and planning an awareness campaign for a non-profit organization, “For Pete’s Sake” (FPS). FPS is a cancer respite foundation that provides adult cancer patients (24-55 years old) and their families “a break from cancer” at one of their respite locations. This plan is still in the developing stages, but we have been covering a lot of ground in a collaborative group, smaller teams as well as being assigned an independent task to complete. This practicum is the perfect follow-up to the course I took last semester (Intro to Public Relations) because it picked up right where I left off. I am getting the opportunity to use the knowledge and skills I learned about the PR field while being able to improve on my skill set. I recommend taking a practicum in a related field of study along with an internship. The experience is different with a practicum course and an internship. Both courses are beneficial and will help build your resume along with providing a great start on your career path, combined they will give you an advantage in the work field.

I am looking forward to executing our PR campaign and it is a success, and YES, I am claiming it as a success already, failure is not an option. This along with the other projects we do will add to our portfolios but pulling off a successful PR campaign that will bring awareness to a great cause is a huge self-accomplishment for all of us at 1853 Communications. No matter where we end up in life, we will always remember this PR campaign as paving the way to becoming successful Public Relations professionals.