To most students, there is likely little meaning to the phrase, “COM 481”. To those enrolled, they know that it’s not just another college course.
Notes taken in class aren’t page after page of definitions and vocabulary; they’re reminders to confirm dates with a venue, submit an advertisement for approval, and send out final edits on an event invitation. Like many public relations firms, Central Communication Agency balances the needs of multiple clients at once, but with a twist: the people pumping out press releases aren’t professionals—they’re students.
That is what’s so unique about the Agency—it’s a formative opportunity for students to improve their skills and to prepare for a professional career while they simultaneously build relationships with clients and peers in an appropriately challenging environment.
We, as young public relations preprofessionals, are tasked with doing work that many professionals don’t get to do until they start their first post-grad job. It’s a daunting realization to know that the assignments
you turn in and the meetings you attend no longer pertain to just you and your group members.
The clients we work with aren’t hypothetical—they’re real organizations run by real people whose livelihoods depend on our ability to collaborate with them and produce professional, top-notch work. The plans and deadlines given to us by clients aren’t suggestions; they’re a business agreement.
With that in mind, it’s up to us to be flexible. We’re hired to accomplish the client’s goals, and if that means tackling something we have little to no knowledge of, it’s up to us to do what we’ve got to do to complete our objectives. Take it as a challenge—you don’t know how to design an event flier? This is a chance to learn the basics of graphic design.
What a client wants to see happen and what’s attainable can sometimes be two very different things. It’s up to us to determine what we can accomplish and to do our best to help our client achieve their goals—whether it be to raise awareness about their organization or to coordinate a large event. It’s up to us to address concerns as would any professional: with professionalism, maturity, and a desire for excellence.
Written by Brittany Fosberg