In 2008, I started teaching a class at UC Davis Extension on Social Media. My knowledge of social media has come from my own use and watching and listening to others over several years. I’ve now taught that course for three years, and tomorrow I start teaching a new course for UC Davis Extension, this time on something I studied myself in college.
My degree is in Communication with a Public Relations Emphasis, and the course I’m teaching is Essentials of Public Relations. Some things have changed since I took my classes at UOP in the early 90’s. Some things haven’t.
Things that haven’t changed in PR since I studied as an undergrad:
- Need for strong professional ethics in communication;
- Focus on effective writing;
- Clear identification of objectives; and
- Whining about how the profession isn’t taken seriously enough.
Things that have changed in PR since I studied as an undergrad:
- The rise of the voice of many with freely available publishing tools, i.e. social media;
- Simultaneous decrease and increase of media outlets with those tools;
- Ability to get the word out without using the media or advertising through self-publishing; and
- Need for companies and organizations to listen to and respond to customers directly and publicly.
This isn’t an exhaustive list but the ones that first came to mind. I’ve been in working in PR for 15 years now, and I’m still learning. If you work in PR, what’s changed for you since you started? What would you like to make sure these students learn about our profession?