PRLab: Why You Should Take The Class

Fall 2014 registration is right around the corner, and although I am graduating in a few months, I think it is important to tell you about one of my favorite BU classes before I leave. If you are a COM student and are at all interested in public relations, then I highly recommend you sign up for PRLab. Allow me to explain further... 

What is PRLab?

PRLab is the nation’s oldest full-service student-run public relations agency, where students are Account Executives, Account Supervisors and Directors- not just interns. The agency connects students with Boston-based companies and nonprofits where we use skills and knowledge from our COM classes in a real-life work setting. Students work in teams, guided by Account Supervisors. The course is specifically designed for juniors, seniors and graduate-level public relations students at BU. You can take PRLab for either two or four credits, working with clients for either seven hours or 14 hours each week. The course requires students to fill out weekly timesheets and involves two presentations. You will also create a professional portfolio in PRLab, a tool that I still update and use today.

How did you hear about PRLab?

My COM advisor recommended I take PRLab to gain professional public relations experience before graduation, so I signed up and that’s exactly what I got. Before taking PRLab I was unsure of my career path within communications. I had a slight interest in public relations but felt I lacked experience and wanted to learn more. Yet, after taking PRLab I was certain that public relations was the field for me- plus I had experience to list on my resume and references in the field!

What was your involvement?

During my time in PRLab, I was an Account Executive for Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries as part of a two-person team. My partner and I were tasked with promoting Goodwill’s Boston Marathon team through content creation and managing social media platforms, while working with individual runners to help them achieve their fundraising goals. Over the course of the semester my partner and I worked with a PRLab Account Supervisor who led our group meetings and oversaw our work for Goodwill. The three of us worked well together, which made my job more enjoyable. 

What does PRLab do for people? 

PRLab definitely helped me become more confident in my professional abilities as an aspiring public relations practitioner. Through PRLab I was able to gain real life experience working as an Account Executive, sharpening my teamwork skills and building my professional network in the Boston area. I was able to apply lessons from my classes to actual work; for instance, in addition to simply writing a news release (as we do in class) I was able to send the release to reporters and garnered media coverage for Goodwill. My work yielded tangible results that contributed to my portfolio and in general was personally satisfying to see!

Who would you recommend PRLab to?

I would recommend PRLab to any student interested in pursuing a career in public relations! You must meet the prerequisites (CM301 and CM331) so plan accordingly if you want to take the class. PRLab was an invaluable learning experience that has helped me grow professionally and is a staple on my resume for the "job hunt."