To be a graduate of Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication, one of the course requirements is a visual communications (MC 2015) class. I spent most of this course learning Adobe InDesign, about three classes learning Adobe Photoshop and one class learning Adobe Dreamweaver. While taking this class, I thought I would never use this software again. However, I was definitely mistaken.
Dr. Jensen Moore-Copple’s public relations writing (MC 4001) class has taught me what it means to be a PR professional. Through my service-learning project with the Louisiana Northshore Quilt Trail Association, I have learned what it means to be professionally proficient. This means to be skilled or competent at whatever a job may require.
My work with the LNQTA means that being professionally proficient has required me to familiarize myself and become proficient in Adobe InDesign. Although I am not using Dreamweaver, I am using weebly.com, a website that allows me to create my own free website.
Not only have I become professionally proficient by using certain software, but I have also become proficient in using AP style writing to create news releases, feature releases, fliers, memos, talking points, brochures and media kits.
Working with the LNQTA has allowed my group and me, Prism Communications, to use our skills in a professional manner. We have created a flier, a news release, a feature release, an event plan, a social media plan, a YouTube video, a handout and a plan book for the LNQTA. The majority of these items will be available to the public. So, being professionally proficient is extremely important.
Along with my service-learning work this semester, I took a TV News Producing (MC4280) class as a mass communication elective. Through this class, I became professionally proficient with Edius, an editing software for video production quality material.
My service-learning mini-campaign with the LNQTA and my media production class, have taught me to be professionally proficient. I have been able to complete all of the course learning objectives for my PR writing class. These objectives are:
- Understand client, audience and media information and format needs.
- Demonstrate skills in locating, evaluating, and synthesizing research materials.
- Understand the importance of truth, accuracy and fairness in the information gathering and distribution processes.
- Demonstrate skills in writing copy on long and short deadlines and within space, time and platform requirements.
- Produce and critically analyze story ideas and materials intended for diverse audiences and media platforms.
- Create and deliver professional speeches and presentations that clearly and concisely convey messages to internal and external audiences.
- Demonstrate knowledge of Associated Press style requirements.
- Establish and maintain positive client relationships and work as a part of a public relations team.
- Create professional communications using technologies such as InDesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc.
- Develop and refine a professional digital portfolio.
As stressful and time consuming as this class could be, I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn professional proficiency and how to maintain a successful working relationship from Dr. Moore and the LNQTA board members.