By Breann Roettering
Resources surround public relations students at the University of Central Missouri (UCM) everyday. I encourage the students to open their eyes and take advantage of these resources to help prepare them for their career in the future.
The PR Department has wonderful faculty who share their knowledge with the students every day inside and outside of the classroom. Get to know your professors here at UCM. Our faculty members are experienced in a wide range of Public Relations, ranging from nonprofit organizations to agency work and design.
Public Relations students have the opportunity to be involved in UCM’s Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. PRSSA conducts a number of events annually to benefit students, and to help them start making professional connections. If you haven’t checked out UCM PRSSA, I encourage you to do so. Each year the organization hosts PR Pro Day, an AP Style Workshop and a personal branding workshop that covers social media. PRSSA also gives you an opportunity to meet your peers and network at events in Kansas City such as The KC PR Summit, as well as social event in Warrensburg.
Get to know your classmates
I have already mentioned it briefly, but it is very important to get to know other students in the program. A great place to start making those connections is in the classroom. Your fellow classmates are also going to graduate and become professionals someday. Get to know them and build those connections now. They may become a great source for you in the future and will be people to collaborate with and get advice from when you start your career.
The final networking tool students have at UCM is Innovative Public Relations (IPR.) IPR is a student PR firm housed in University Relations. Every PR student is encouraged to apply for IPR. There is an application and interview process, but do not let that scare you away. Working for IPR will help you gain experience in an agency setting and also is a great place to start networking. You will get the opportunity to work alongside the University Relations staff and gain experience working for real-life clients.
At UCM, students can begin networking right away. It will benefit you to get to know your professors, fellow students and administrators. After you graduate you will already have experience working in a professional environment. Start networking on campus and build a name for yourself now. Those connections may open a door for you to that dream job you are seeking. It will also help you build your confidence as you enter the job market because you will already have experience in networking yourself.
by Raysha Sally
The 2014 Miss America pageant brought in over 10 million viewers in Sunday’s airing (according to a Miss America press release), but it wasn’t the buzz on the television that has everyone talking; it’s the blowup on social media that has everyone buzzing.
Meet Nina Davuluri
Shortly after Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, was crowned Miss America, Twitter blew up with hateful tweet regarding Davuluri’s ethnicity. Davuluri is the first Indian-American to win the crown. Some of the tweet captured by Buzzfeed read, “And the Arab wins Miss America. Classic”, “Asian or indian are you kiddin this is america omg”, “9/11 was 4 days ago and she gets miss America?”, and “Miss America right now or miss Al Qaeda?”
Obviously not all American’s feel this way, since the crowning there has been a large out-pour for Miss Davuluri. An article from Munmun Khan reads, “The people of the United States of America have finally overcome racial prejudice, we finally see women of color as beautiful, and we value brains as well as beauty. We have a person of whose family immigrated to the U.S. just 30 years ago win one of the most coveted crowns and a $50,000 scholarship. YES!”
The rise of social media has changed the morale of the Miss America competition, many of us saw this tv buzz article posted all over the Internet about Miss Kansas, Teresa Vail being the first contestant to bare tattoos in the competition. Vail was also only the second woman from the United State Army to compete in the pageants 92 year history. Vail was crowned ABC’S America’s Choice contestant, an online competition where the public was able to vote for their favorite contestant in the 2014 competition.
While Twitter users were expressing negative thoughts toward Miss New York Sunday night, they were expressing support for what they called “The Real Miss America, Miss Kansas”. The four panel picture you see of Vail was one of the most shared pictures the night of the competition.
As an aspiring public relations professional, social media continues to amaze me. There are so many different outlets, and different uses for social media, but everyone utilizes their site for differently. The 92-year-old competition has now adopted a viewers choice award to include their audience. They also encouraged the use of the #MissAmerica hashtag, though very successful, I don’t believe they expected the negative backlash it received.
(Photo via Buzzfeed)