In an attempt to solidify its branding, the Plattsburgh State public relations program will be reaching out to both high school and current PSUC students about opportunities available.
Because of the relative youth of the program, Director Jonathan Slater said they want to make sure adequate awareness has been spread about the program, which became part of the journalism department in 2012.
“We’ve made minor changes with curriculum and hired a new faculty member, Michelle Ouellette [former PSUC director for PR and publications], which we’re very excited about,” Slater said.
In addition to classes, students can also become involved in the different public relations practicums, including Cardinal PR, led by Assistant Professor Colleen Lemza and PRSSA, headed by Assistant Professor Rachel Jurek.
Both organizations allow students to gain real life experience in areas such as event management, brand management, advertising and design, social media promoting, branding and creating media kits.
Slater said nearly one-third of the public relations students are currently members of PRSSA.
“Things like this really help our students get ready for the real world,” Slater said.
PSUC student and President of Cardinal PR Rhiannon Brown said her experiences in the program has taught her a lot about the public relations field.
““It has been so beneficial to be part of the public relations programs and all the opportunities they offer,” Brown said. “It has given me the opportunity to take what I have learned and really put it to use,” Brown said.
“Being a member of both Cardinal PR and PRSSA, the hands-on experiences have been amazing, With Cardinal PR, I have been able to work with a client and provide PR service for them.”
“PRSSA has given me the chance to network with professionals that are both in or related to the fields that I want to enter,” Brown said.
Slater said the program is also in the process of applying to Certification in Education for Public Relations, commonly referred to as CEPR.
Established in 1989 by the Public Relations Society of America, is “a voluntary program of quality-assurance endorsement for studies in public relations at colleges and universities worldwide,” according to the website.
Only 41 American colleges are recognized by the CEPR.
Slater said that should the PSUC program be recognized, it would make it the first SUNY school to do so.
In addition, the program is sending faculty and students to different public relations events to become more publicly recognized.
This week, the four faculty members headed to Rochester for the Northeast District Conference, hosted by the PRSA.
Slater said several faculty members and students will also be representing the program next month in Washington, D.C. at a joint PRSA/PRSSA event.
This will allow for networking opportunities and chances to develop fresh ideas for the program, which is an essential part of any public relations program.
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