What Did I (Really) Learn from Grad School?

Is graduation really here? It’s been awhile since I’ve written about school. The truth is, a strange bout of senioritus hit early in the semester…followed by a sudden end-of-semester/end-of-school scramble for a perfect final campaign project. My campaign for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) – Indiana Chapter Step Out Walk ended up at 50 pages. 50! Seeing as my Integrated Marketing Communication in Health Care course only asked for a simple campaign plan of “around 15-20 pages,” I can only conclude that this must be my insane attempt at a last grad school hoorah. Only one more final and I’ll…

Edelman Presentation: “When All Media is Social”

The late Richard Edelman(CEO of Edelman Worldwide) recently produced a presentation on how communication is changing, titled “When All Media is Social: Navigating the Future of Communication” (Available here: http://www.slideshare.net/EdelmanInsights/richard-edelman-academic-summit-keynote-address2#). The presentation hit on a few key points about how things have changed, even just in recent years, and how communications professionals can move forward. Edelman mentions that now is a better time than ever to be in public relations. The public has a growing distrust for institutions (i.e. governments and businesses), but–according to Edelman–PR teams can counter that by creating communities and thought leaders. Edelman lists five media trends…

What’s your REAL Klout score?

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about Klout, the newest way to “measure” online influence. Klout tracks all interaction on your social media networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more) and assigned you a number from one (basically non-existent) to 100 (basically perfect—Justin Bieber has a perfect Klout score, for example). Klout offers “Perks” and free swag from vendors to those considered to be influential in certain topics, some employers are now hiring based on Klout scores and Klout recently released an iPhone app that allows users to stalk their score on the go. Many scoff at the actual relevancy…

End of Semester Resolutions

Finally, the end of fall semester is nearing. I just got word that our plan for the Indianapolis chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) was approved, and all that’s left is a presentation of my group’s findings on the corporate culture of the Arthritis Foundation in my PR Management class. So, now what? I’ve spent the past semester daydreaming about what it would be like to have whole nights to do whatever I want–no classes until 9, or projects to feverishly finish. I’ve almost all but forgotten what I use to do with my free nights. But, like some…

Life as Improv

I recently attended a great Hoosier PRSA luncheon with the theme of “Improv for PR Professionals.” I signed up initially because I was intrigued. How could improv be directly applied to public relations? Well, it turns out we were schooled in how improv can not only apply to public relations, but to all aspects of our lives. We often go into situations (whether they be work, school, relationships or otherwise) where we might be prepared–to an extent. What goes on beyond past preparation and what can be planned is completely improv. We were shown different ways to embrace these improv situations, and keep…

Say it Like You Mean it

For whatever reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about communication styles lately. Public relations is a field all about communication, messages, and how messages are received. But what happens when the messages are ambiguous? Before I majored in journalism and English as an undergraduate, I majored in communication. It was fascinating learning about all the different ways that people interact with each other. I was particularly interested in interpersonal communication. One of the concepts that stuck in my head was language that had multiple contexts or meanings. For example, you might tell a significant other “I hate it when you…

Mo’ Classes, Mo’ Problems

Summer session at IUPUI is in full swing, which means that (in all likelihood) while you’re relaxing by the pool, I’m furiously working on class assignments. I’m a few weeks into two new online classes, “Issues Management and Crisis Communication” and “Public Relations Theory.” It’s great not having to make the trek downtown, but these two classes–while interesting and integral to my profession–have so far been very challenging to juggle with summer work-life balance. Adding to this, I may have to tack on an accounting class for the second summer session. I have to keep reminding myself that this is one of the reasons I signed up for…

America’s Changing Landscape: 2010 Census Results

As a big PR nerd, I love getting my Public Relations Tactics monthly newsletter from PRSA. It summarizes all I’d need to know about public relations management and recent statistics, and even gives great writing tips. This month’s issue is themed as “Charting Your Measurement Strategy,” which correlates with my grad curriculum (currently I’m taking “Issues Management and Crisis Communication” and “Public Relations Theory”). I could wax poetic about some of the topics brought up in this issue, but I found something interesting that I think everyone would (or should) be interested in: the 2010 U.S. Census results. The American landscape…

It’s Down to the Wire: 20 Pages, 10 Days

I’m not one to procrastinate on anything (I promise!) but I haven’t yet been able to find the energy/time to adequately work on my public relations research proposal. Which, I now realize is due in 10 days, and I’ve only got the bare bones written down. I’m starting to see how having a full-time job and a multitude of responsibilities makes it even harder than it was as an undergrad to find the time to focus on papers and projects (which I use to think was hard enough). Luckily, I had the idea for my paper in mind from the…

Back to School!

So, Wednesday I experienced my first class of graduate school at IUPUI, Public Relations Research and Evaluation. I admit, it was intimidating–and not just because my instructor is nicknamed “The Hammer.” It seemed as if everyone in the class already knew each other from former classes, some already in their third or fourth semesters. It seems as if, for now, I’m the odd woman out. The class includes a 40-page research paper (20 pages of a public relations proposal and 20 pages of research and evaluation), a midterm, a presentation, and more.  I’m glad I made the decision to stick…