Kiana Madeira headshot

The Joy in Being a PR Major

This is for any Her Campus beauties who are just starting off on the Public Relations track, or considering it. I hope this reflection about my PR Writing class finds its way to you.Why, exactly? In my personal opinion, I think PR Writing is the test to see if you really have a passion for the industry or if you will want to change your major by the end of the semester. Regardless, it’s your journey and this is a little insight into how this class went for me.

It has been a year and half since I first learned about the Public Relations industry. Last Semester is where I definitely learned the most about what it takes to be a part of the PR world.

Having absolutely no experience in PR writing, I was extremely nervous for this class. But I soon realized, this wasn't one of those general journalism classes where they are extremely critical, only ever noting  what you are doing wrong. This class was a learning experience, even though I did get marked down a few times for forgetting to spell check. The amount of things I have learned is copious.

My thought process for nearly everything is to just go for it and ask questions later. I know my method of cognition has its negative and positive outcomes when it comes to different assignments in this class. Regardless of merit, my assignments were not grade-based, but rather focused on honest and constructive criticism. Regardless of how well I did on an assignment, none of them were perfect, but instead of just getting a grade, I was able to read honest and straight to the point feedback. This definitely made me understand where I went wrong, and why I should ask even the simplest of questions when I had some doubt.

This class taught me a lot of new skills and showed a side of detail and well thought out process into any PR campaign. For example, the Press Kit. I never really knew what it was at first, besides just a slide show and pictures little did I know this one of the biggest tools, news outlets, and other companies look for to learn about a brand.

Another tougher assignment was the Interview Brief and Talking Points. Let’s just say I did not do my best. Learning how to create this type of document for a client seemed tough as nails,but from the feedback I received, I am now more confident in  learning from my mistakes. The various assignments in the course were  all forms of writing we would have to do in the future. able to have a sample of our work with feedback and corrections, will definitely help and be used as a guide when I have to replicate one in the future.

A major skill  I learned in this class was how to work and communicate with a partner. I know this is something we have been doing since highschool, but when it comes to PR, I will be having to collaborate with individuals daily on various projects. So overall, sharing ideas and splitting up the working but also doing a lot of the work together so we both learn wasn't the easiest, but being patient and open minded made the group assignments less stressful, because we were able to bounce frustrations and just unique ideas off of one another.

One group assignment we did that I originally underestimated was the Press Release. As a reader, you would think it took maybe an hour or so to come up with the written piece, but little do you know that there needs to be behind the scenes planning, pitching and greetings before a press release is even considered.

To finally wrap things up, this class taught me a lot of new skills when it comes to writing and what I will be having to do. I now have a sample of each thing I will be expected to write professionally someday. But one thing I am still working on is asking questions and not rushing. As much as I love my “act fast, ask questions later” thought process, I am learning to think a little before and ask questions first.

Overall, Public Relations is a place for storytellers and my teacher once briefly mentioned, “be prepared to join an industry that does exactly that, but for brands.”