by Nikki Carpenter
For public relations students like myself, there is not an experience quite like Innovative Public Relations. To be honest, I did not know what I was getting into when I joined IPR. I had no idea what projects I would be assigned to, who would be on my team, and the skills I would quickly develop. The only thing I had to compare it to was a sports internship from over the summer.
In August, my team learned that we would be collaborating with the firm’s first off-campus client. Larry Schnieders, a retired corporate executive and UCM PR alumnus, wanted to share a story connecting two Kansas City high schools that have been housed at the same location. Both of the schools and their students prospered when all odds were against them.
The focus of our campaign is to utilize a crowdfunding platform to acquire the funds necessary for the shooting and editing of the film. As specialists with marginal knowledge of this unique fundraising technique, we found ourselves spending our time researching everything possible. From tips to statistics to looking at successful pages, we quickly developed a strategic approach in order to raise the necessary funds.
In partnership with Through A Glass Productions, “Together We’re Stronger” revisits the extraordinary story of Bishop Lillis High’s unexpected Missouri basketball state title in 1961. The team consisted of transfer students and a first-year coach. The film will have interviews of the players and coach of this team, who have gone on to be successful. One player was twice-elected mayor of Omaha, Nebraska. Another went on to win a gold medal at the Olympics.
The documentary will also follow Lillis’ legacy through the building’s current tenant, DeLaSalle Education Center. DeLaSalle is a charter school with alternative-style curriculum, and the only school of its kind in Missouri. DeLaSalle relies on donations and fundraisers to provide at-risk youth a personalized education to improve learning and life skills. The film is expected to bring a new audience to the school that has already reached its capacity of 300 students with a waiting list.
The crowdfunding campaign to raise $18,000 will continue until Dec. 7 on Kickstarter. Check out the page here! For up-to-date information on everything regarding this project, make sure to like “Together We’re Stronger” on Facebook and follow the film on Twitter.
Pictures via Hank Young and Kali Schnieders
by Megan Maher
You’ve heard the phrase “Jack-of-all-trades”, but do you know exactly what it means and how it relates to public relations? Obviously it’s an awesome title to hold, but as you’ll see, obtaining it doesn’t come easy.
Jack-of-all-trades is precisely what it sounds like. Dictionary.com defines it as “a person who is adept at many different kinds of work.” The famous figure of speech dates back to the 17th century and has been used ever since.
Correlation to our industry
As PR students we are taught a lot of different skills, from writing press releases and building media kits in (name that class!) to holding press conferences in Strategic Planning and learning how to navigate our way around inDesign in Design and Layout. We are even “fortunate” enough to sit through a law class that provides us with knowledge of what you can and can’t do with digital media. This array of classes prepares us for what’s to come post graduation and sets us up for success as we transition from students to PR professionals.
In the “real world” no two days are the same––which you already know and is probably one of the characteristics that attracts you to this ever changing career. Working in the fast-paced environment means you have to stay on your toes and be able to wear many different hats to complete the tasks at hand. It’s important to be continuously learn as many skill sets as you can to standout in this highly competitive field.
Take advantage of the resources you have to familiarize yourself with programs that you’ve never used and polish the skills you already have. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten know-hows that as a PR professional you’ll want to know:
1. Writing (grammar, grammar, grammar)
2. Photography and photoshop
5. Web Design/HTML
7. Social Media
8. Event Planning
9. Public Speaking
10. Search Engine Optimization
Become proficient in many skill sets
Becoming proficient at these and remaining multifaceted will also help you better communicate with other teams and allow you to understand their jargon-filled dialect. You will never walk away from a conversation wondering what just happened again, no, no, no. Do you need to talk to the marketing team about promotional material? No problem, you know the ins and outs of design concepts. Did you just walk into a meeting to find out that you’re leading it? Don’t sweat it! Not only do you know what you’re talking about like the back of your hand, you’re also an all star public speaker. Did someone just come to you with content they need edited yesterday? It’s a good thing you’re a skilled editor. Mistakes don’t stand a chance against you.
Alas, you are the Jack-of-all-Trades. You, my friend, have mastered it all, well maybe not all, but with the skills you have you’re well on your way.
As you wear the many hats of your newly acquired skills you must never put on the hat of the “know-it-all”. Being a Jack-of-all-Trades comes with humble pride and the understanding that there is always more to learn. It takes extreme dedication and is not for the faint at heart. So take your knowledge and use it for good. Help others and watch your hard work pay off. Now go forth, conquer the day, and continue to be awesome.