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As I look over the projects going on right now in my Public Relations Campaigns course I am in awe. My students are helping out SIX different nonprofit organizations in Baton Rouge, LA this semester — so it’s simply not possible for me to  go into great detail about each. However, if you look at the end of this post I do touch on some of the highlights.

Before I do that though, I would like to say “thank you” to the amazing PR faculty who have helped to teach and nurture the wonderful students in my class. While I would love to take the credit, I only arrived at the Manship School of Mass Communication in January so the projects these students are completing have been largely influenced by others in the PR division. I simply had the task this semester of showing the students how each of the pieces they had learned from their former professors could be put together into a cohesive campaign.

So, in order of how the students likely had the classes in the PR major, I would like to thank the following:

Danny Shipka, Intro to Mass Media & Public Relations Practices

Dr. Shipka excites students about mass communication in the intro course and then guides them through the world of public relations in the PR intro course. There are so many students who have joined the Manship School just because of a course they took with Dr. Shipka that I have run out of ways to count them all. He is an exciting teacher who creates excitement and passion in his students. They come into public relations upper-level courses knowing the work will be hard, but that they really want to be part of this amazing profession.

Nicole Dahmen, Visual Communication

Dr. Dahmen teaches all mass communication students about color, type, space, layouts, logos, structure, style, etc. She encourages creativity and reflection. I am not a creative and could never teach one of these classes, so I have the greatest respect for what Dr. Dahmen does. You should see the skill sets of students coming out of her course — it’s simply amazing (as you can see by some of the work highlighted below).

Meghan Sanders, Foundations of Media Research

Dr. Sanders has the unenviable task of introducing all mass communication students to qualitative and quantitative research methods. I say this because I have taught a similar class in the past and I can tell you from experience that students in this course: 1) don’t really care about research, and 2) because they are from a variety of different mass comm majors don’t pay attention to large portions of the class they don’t think pertain to them. In both cases it means that students “zone out” in this class, a lot. I know that Dr. Sanders got through to a large share of the PR students however, because they knew exactly how to set up surveys, focus groups and interviews and what to do with the resulting data.

Erin Coyle, Mass Media Law & Media Ethics and Social Responsibility

Dr. Coyle keeps our students from behaving immorally, unethically, irresponsibly and illegally — at least professionally. Without her tutelage many of our PR students would be facing defamation charges, ethical violations, copyright charges, etc. I know she has done a good job when students note in their papers BEFORE they create fliers, news releases, shirts, websites, etc. how they will avoid problems regarding appropriation, libel, privacy and intellectual property. I also had the opportunity to serve as a co-adviser with Dr. Coyle for PRSSA at LSU and her discussions with students often centered on honesty, integrity, fairness, accuracy, responsibility and transparency. She takes quite seriously the role of public relations of serving in the best interest of the public and the profession.

Lisa Lundy, Public Relations Writing & Case Studies in Public Relations

I’ll be honest, a lot of my PR Campaigns students had Dr. Shipka as their writing professor (and remark about how much they liked writing news releases about Justin Beiber for his class). Another large contingent had Dr. Lisa Lundy as their writing professor. They all talk about how tough she was on their writing (multiple points off for names spelled incorrectly seems to be the biggest complaint:), but how much they learned from her. Most of my PR Campaigns students also had her in Case Studies where she drilled into them the importance of honesty, integrity, fairness, accuracy, responsibility and transparency in the PR profession. When we were going over cases at the beginning of the PR Campaigns course I could tell just how much they learned from her lessons.

Jinx Broussard, Case Studies in Public Relations, Public Relations Campaigns & Internships

Students are afraid of Dr. Broussard and it’s not because she is intimidating; it’s because they know she’s going to make them work HARD. Dr. Broussard teaches Case Studies, PR Campaigns and oversees internships. She helps our students get internships, prepares them for internships and makes sure they are performing well at those internships. Students who came into the PR Campaigns course prepared for the challenge and ready to “take on the world” were ones that Dr. Broussard either had in class or guided through an internship. She is not at all “hands off” but directs and pushes our PR students to be their very best. BTW – if you took my class hoping I would not be as hard as Dr. Broussard you were out of luck — I am using her syllabus:)

There are other Manship faculty who have taught the PR majors over the years — and I apologize for not mentioning you all. I just wanted to focus this post on thanking the PR faculty. Their guidance has helped our students create these amazing projects…

Gaitway Theraputic Horsemanship

Playmakers of Baton Rouge

  • The new Playmakers website (still a work in progress)
  • Pinocchio video
  • Playmakers Facebook
  • Playmakers Twitter
  • This was written after a press release was sent to The Advocate
  • This was written after a press release was sent to The Advocate
  • This was written after a press release was sent to Dig
  • This was written after a press release was sent to Dig

SmokingWords

In my next blog I will discuss the accomplishments of the following three groups on the behalf of these local nonprofits:

Baton Rouge Area Alcohol and Drug Center

Istrouma Sports Organization

Louisiana Delta Service Corps

In closing, I would again like to thank Dr. Danny Shipka, Dr. Nicole Dahmen, Dr. Erin Coyle, Dr. Meghan Sanders, Dr. Lisa Lundy and Dr. Jinx Broussard for all their hard work in preparing these excellent future PR professionals (and I’m sure the PR students would too).