Upon completion of the course, CAP 220 has my head spinning. I think that’s natural, however. I expected to come out of the course with a full grip on Public Relations, but I feel as if I’ve only identified the handle. That doesn’t mean I’m clueless to what PR is: my blog in the beginning had a pretty good idea. I’m aware of what PR is, but through this course I’ve adopted a modified, personal version that seems to fit well; Public Relations is the field of relationship building and image/identity sculpting in order to help the client in the best way possible to meet their desired outcomes. Public Relations is about problem solving, and making ends meet even if you don’t know where they begin. Public Relations is like a shot in the dark, but then you conduct research and buy night vision goggles. Public Relations is quite a bit of fun.
I think the moment when I realized PR could be so fun is when the class sought to establish a goal for the campaign. We switched classrooms because of the uncomfortable heat in the first one, but somehow we managed the raise the temperature of the second room even higher. The class may have argued, and I might’ve been told to use my inside voice, but building off of one another’s ideas to make the best composite representation possible for the client had my neurons firing faster than before. I learned that sometimes it’s okay to let someone else take control, and my ideas aren’t always the best. Teamwork can be the best way to come up with ideas.
When the GVSU alumna came in and outlined her job in PR at Weber Shandwick, I further understood the roles that PR takes on. Among other fields, there’s much to learn about PR and crisis management, and she did a wonderful job highlighting her role in GM’s crisis. I expand on some similar ideas in my crisis blog post. Crisis management is one of many facets of PR, but through this course, it has managed to be one of my main interests. I’m excited to continue this major to learn more about it.
At the end of this course, we turned in our biggest assignment, the one that scared us all in the beginning, the plan book. I had expected myself to do exceptionally well on this project, as I am a PR major. Despite my early expectations, I failed. Without giving myself enough time, and letting outside stressors get the best of me, I set myself up to fail. I learned another lesson: PR takes time. I cannot pull a plan book out of thin air, and no one can. I am so disappointed in myself. But this doesn’t mean I’ve given up; I’ve only just begun. Hitting a personal rock bottom only means there’s nowhere but up to go, right? As I pick myself up and dust off the rubble of a failure, I also pick up notes of time management and dedication.
As I venture on into my Ad&PR experience at GVSU, I feel confident CAP 220 has equipped me with a tool belt to help me succeed. I’ve met some stellar classmates who inspire me to think harder, and some stellar instructors who inspire me to think better. As the inner workings of PR continue to reveal themselves to me, I’ll work even harder.