Professional Development isn’t just for Professionals

Even though I’m partial to the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA), I thought it was still important that I write a post about how important it is for students to be involved in the organization.

FPRA is the U.S.’ oldest PR organization, and composed of 1,500 student and professional members. There are 15 professional and 11 student chapters across the state of Florida. FPRA is largely made up of PR professionals, but through personal experience, I’ve found that there are numerous benefits that PR students can reap from being involved in their local chapter, including:

  • access to a state-wide job bank
  • networking opportunities at meetings and chapter-related events
  • internships and jobs resulting from networking opportunities
  • access to professional development events
  • mentoring by seasoned professionals
  • a competitive edge when applying for jobs
  • leadership opportunities
  • possible scholarships and awards
  • resources for preparing for accreditation and certification tests
  • opportunities to volunteer in the community and gain experience in the field

If this ongoing list isn’t enough to convince you as a student, or even professional, to join FPRA, I don’t know what will. Deciding to get involved with FPRA has been one of the best choices of my college career. If you’re a Southeastern student and interested in learning more about FPRA, send an email to

If you’re a member of FPRA, what are some other benefits students can receive? What has been your personal experience with FPRA? I’d love to hear.


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NewsU :: Lousy Listeners

Image Credit: “Number 3” by Kyota

One of the many online resources for public relations students and professionals is Poynter’s NewsU. I recently took NewsU’s “Lousy Listeners” course. In this blog post, I’m going to use the three-pronged approach to talk about what I learned from this course.

  • What did you learn?

One thing I learned is to repeat back to a speaker what I think they said to me before giving my response. I also learned that listening helps build trust in a relationship. Another important piece of information I learned is that listening does not always translate to communicating.

  • What surprised you?

There were several things that surprised me. One was that paying attention to a speaker’s unvoiced emotions and what their body language is saying is just as important as listening to the words they are saying.

  • What do you want to know more about?

I want to learn more about the importance of listening in public relations. Many of the tips the “Lousy Listeners” course gave I can apply to more personal life, but there is a different type of listening required in the public relations field. One way I can learn more about this is following public relations professionals’ social media profiles and blogs.

I would recommend this course to anyone, regardless of their major, career goals or job. Other NewsU courses I would suggest are “Cleaning Your Copy: Grammar, Style and More,” “Build and Engage Local Audiences Online” and “Get Me Rewrite: The Craft of Revision.”

What are some tips you have for listening? What are some examples of how they have been effective for you? I’d love to hear about it.

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Drum roll please…

After learning more about the behind-the-scenes operations at Target and researching its public relations strategies, I’m now more likely to want to work for the company.


Well, everyone likes to be on a winning team. Target’s  public relations department is composed of professionals with years of experience. They have mastered social media and helped the company stay strong despite economic downfall. There’s a lot I could learn from these professionals and if there’s already a successful system in place, that makes the day-to-day easier.

That isn’t to say, though, that I wouldn’t want to brainstorm new public relations strategies to help improve Target’s pre-existing plan. I’d also like to work for Target to help it create a crisis communications plan. Even if there was one in place, for example, regarding the new wedding registry ad, it may not have been well-crafted based on the lack of response given by the company.

It also makes it easier to love your job and enjoy it when you believe in what you’re selling. Like I said in my initial post about the company, I spend a lot of time and money at Target, and I believe that the quality of its products surpass that of what other stores have to offer.

Would you consider working for Target one day? If not, why?

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Red Alert:: Target’s Recent Crisis

It may not have seemed like a crisis to Target, but it sure did to the rest of the world, especially after the buzz following Chick-fil-a’s restatement of their views on marriage.  This summer, Target released a new same-sex marriage wedding registry advertisement. Several media outlets, like the Huffington Post, picked up the story. There was positive feedback about the ad from LGBT, while others found it fishy after Target decided not to sell Frank Ocean’s new album and the revealing of its financial support of an anti-gay marriage candidate.

There aren’t any press releases or statements on the company’s online newsroom regarding the ad. The same goes for its social media profiles. Whether Target thought silence was the best policy or that the ad release wouldn’t be a big deal, I’m not sure. But more often than not, I think saying something is better than saying nothing at all and letting others speak for you.

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If I were to apply at Target…

If somewhere down the road I decided to apply to be one of Target‘s executive communication managers, my resume would look something like this:



Grade Point Average: 3.8

Member of the Honor’s Program at Southeastern University


Secretary of Florida Public Relations Association at

Southeastern University (2010-2011)

President of Florida Public Relations Association at

Southeastern University (2011-present)


Volunteer Activities: American Cancer Society (2006-2009)

HillsboroughRiver Clean-Up (2008)

HillsboroughCounty New Teacher Orientation (2005-2009)

Project Fill-A-Bucket (2010)

Big Brothers Big Sisters (November 2010-May 2011)

American Cancer Society Cattle Baron’s Ball (2011)

Florida Strawberry Festival (2011)

Sun N Fun Media Center (2011)

Roundhousen’s Roast Premiere(2011)

WomFest (2011)


The Gala Salon and Spa: Receptionist (March 2010-August 2010, May 2011-August 2011)

Freelance Writer (November 2010-present)

Intern at Lorrie Walker Communications, Inc. (January 2012-May 2012)

Writer at Lorrie Walker Communications, Inc. (May 2012-present)

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Get Hired:: Target’s Communication Department

Image Credit: “Checkout” by Nate Grigg

Now it’s time to get down to who makes all of these public relations elements of Target‘s strategy possible. There are a number of career opportunities within the company including:

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Straight from the Press:: Target’s Online Newsroom

Media newsrooms have been gaining popularity over the past five years. Several large companies, such as Intel, Ford and the American Cancer Society, maintain online newsrooms for the media to benefit from. Target can also be added to that list. Its media newsroom contains a wealth of information, including:

  • Company missions, values, awards, recognitions, history
  • Press releases
  • Employment opportunities
  • Investor and stock information
  • Press kit
  • Leadership information

I think Target does a good job covering all of the basics. There are, though, a few recent Target-related issues and happenings that have not been addressed by the company via press releases. Also, its press kit is not similar to any other that I’ve seen before. I think it needs to be more comprehensive and in PDF format for journalists and media outlets to download.

What are some other companies that have online newsrooms? What do you think of them?

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