Luanne's Story - Certificate in Public Relations

Luanne's Story - Public Relations

The Public Relations Certificate has been a journey of learning, developing, and implementing skills that I use daily. It started off with the stress of how to write a concise and cohesive paragraph. Rule: writing is strategic. It is not a magic trick. The beauty of taking these courses is that the instructors live and breathe communications; you can rely on their professional advice.

The classes began with a refining of what was “appropriate” in writing, and how communicating day to day, with people or the public, is something you learn to do. I have attended networking events, presented in numerous classrooms, and worked, as an elected Vice President, at the UofR Students’ Union. During these times I relied heavily on my PR classes. Whether it is being aware of my audience (which I am always working on), not saying the classic “uhm,” writing a succinct email, or having a casual conversation—I am always communicating.

The PR program has taught me to articulate my thoughts in a more professional and educated way. It has trained me to eliminate the use of six words where one may be sufficient and that an adjective used well, can significantly cut down a sentence. These skills are very useful when you want to depict a thought or idea with your friends, or in those stressful times, at work, where no one seems to get reality. Handling yourself and saying what you mean is a trait your friends, family, and coworkers will begin to notice and appreciate—mine did.   

Throughout the courses I have seen people from all walks of life—different backgrounds and different ages. This program accommodates a broad range of students because it has flexible times to read the online modules. I remember hating the idea of doing an online class, but after trying the first one realized it was not as horrible as I had thought. In fact, it was well organized and the instructor eased the class into the program. I found early weekdays worked best for me. I am most productive in the mornings and that way I can complete my PR class move on with my week.

A strategy that has benefited me a lot in my writing is: writing an assignment is as simple as writing everyday. Sometimes it is difficult to get your thoughts onto paper, so if you start writing anything that comes to mind you will begin to notice progress. Your thoughts will begin to flow and you will notice a sense of accomplishment. Do not worry about correcting every word along the way or stopping to make sure that every sentence is correct. Get your first rough draft done. Then, go back and correct all of those red and green squiggly lines.

Overall, the Public Relations program has been a positive experience. It has taught me to be organized in my writing and to be specific about what I am trying to say. My eye has been trained to see detail I never noticed before and slowly, I have begun to let my personality show through my writing. Some of my best work has been finding something I loved and writing about what I know!

Luanne - August 2014

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