The road with BRAC has ended, but my PR journey has just begun

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Image from: CartoonMotivators.com

I have explained time and time again about how my previous service-learning experiences have helped me to get where I am today. In this blog I want to talk more about my future and how working with BRAC and being in Jensen Moore-Copple’s service-learning course has been a tough yet beneficial experience. I am graduating this December and after getting through this class with the possibility of making an A, I now feel like I could accomplish anything I set my mind to.

Professional proficiency is all about having up-to-date knowledge and abilities related to your particular field of study. This is achieved and improved through regular and service-learning courses, experience through internships, volunteer groups and organizations and much more. To achieve this proficiency, you must demonstrate this knowledge and these learned skills through your job performance.

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Image from: www.dailyutahchronicle.com

In high school I used to think I was so cool when I was nominated for the homecoming court and they introduced me in front of hundreds of people and listed every single organization I was involved in. The thing is, it’s not about the recognition, it’s not about filling up a resume, its about what you contribute and what you get out of the experience. Yeah, back then I helped out a lot, but I never realized the significance of what I was doing. Now I know that what I have to offer is extremely valuable to many people around the world.

Not only have I learned an extensive amount of skills in Jensen’s class, I have attained even more knowledge from amazing professors like Lisa Lundy, Danny Shipka, Roxanne Dill and so many more. I have gotten experience by writing for TigerSportsDigest.com with Randy Rosetta and interning with the marketing director, Kristen Hogan, at the YMCA. Even though there is still so much more I need to learn and experience for me to fully demonstrate professional proficiency in PR, I think I have learned enough to switch lanes and move on to big and better things.

Next semester I am taking Jensen’s campaigns class and although I am terrified, I think I am about as prepared as I possibly could be. A lot of this newfound confidence is mostly from working with Julie Laperouse and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. Working with BRAC has really been a huge factor in why I’m not as frightened about working with a real client. I have learned about professionalism and ethics, stewardship, civic engagement and social responsibility. If you’re familiar with my blogs, then you should know what all of these terms mean. Laperouse was very helpful, informative and supportive with the ideas my group, SpotlightBR, came up with.

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Image from: CartoonMotivators.com

SpotlightBR has worked so hard this semester to make this campaign a success. Working with Alex, Karen and Ramon has made me appreciate being able to work with a group. In previous classes, I despised working with others. I have had a lot of experiences when I was put in a group with members who were not willing to contribute, but this semester that was not the case. I think with all we have done we will represent what professional proficiency is all about. I have really enjoyed this class, my professor, our partnership and all of the hard work that has made me a much better person, personally and professionally.

I’m pretty sure Jensen has created a blogging maniac, so this will not be the last you hear from me. Thanks for reading throughout this semester and I hope some of my newfound knowledge has been exciting to hear about.

Also, I thought I’d take another step into the blogging world and make a video to explain to you in person what I have learned over this semester. Enjoy.

Follow me @BaileyBigler_
Follow SpotlightBR @SpotlightBR2013

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Partnering with BRAC gives new insight to the PR world

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(Image from: http://www.messiah.edu)

My public relations writing class this semester has taught me more than I could have ever imagined. Although the work has contributed to my all nighters, stress and maybe even a few tears, it has been full of memorable lessons and experiences.This service-learning course has started to give me confidence; the confidence that I need for graduating LSU this December. For the first time since I’ve been here at LSU, I have actually started to feel like I’m ready for the real world. Throughout this semester, I have gotten a sneak peak of what it is like to be in the PR field.

Now, lets go back to the beginning of my time here at LSU. I’ll tell you the truth, when I used to schedule my classes every semester, I was one of the many students who immediately logged on to Rate My Professor or University Tools to find out what classes were the simplest and which teachers were the easiest. I’ll admit, starting out at college, I was terrified of any challenge. But look at me now, challenging professors, like Dr. Jensen Moore-Copple, are the ones I hope for. What is the point of even paying money to go to college, especially students like me who are out of state, if you don’t have a professor who challenges you and brings out your full potential.

How the times have changed… I guess this is what growing up feels like.

I could go on and on about this particular subject, but I want to get down to the main reason why I am sharing this blog with you all. Although this PR writing class contains an overwhelming workload that could make a person want to pull all of their hair out, it teaches students how to use time management and to stay organized, which are vital for anyone.

Service-learning can be seen as a method where students learn and develop skills through actively participating in the community. I became involved with service-learning in high school. When I lived in Texas, I attended Ross S. Sterling in Baytown, Texas and was chosen to be in an unforgettable organization known as PALS, which stands for peer assistance leadership service. The select students in PALS  got the opportunity to travel every day of the week to different elementary and junior high schools in town to mentor younger students and become role models for them.

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(Image from: iarslceproceedings.wikispaces.com)

My service-learning course now is much different, but still brings me the same joy that PALS did. Like I have explained before in previous blogs, my group, SpotlightBR, consists of myself, Alexandria Mouton, Karen Nelson and Ramon Hardy. We are assisting BRAC in promoting and bringing attention to the fun and unique activities to do  at night in the Baton Rouge area. This partnership has not only taught me how service-learning works and the tactful ways to help out my community, it has given me a new insight on how I see the public relations field all together.

Public relations is all about stewardship, civic engagement and social responsibility. In my recent blog I explained these terms in more depth, so if you are unsure of what these duties are all about, just click here.

Working with BRAC has started to show me that PR is kind of a necessity for all organizations. Like we have seen in the media so many times in the past, one screw up can truly ruin a brand. Look at BP. I am not saying that PR is a way to cover up mistakes, but PR professionals offer companies and organizations a way to communicate to publics. Who doesn’t make mistakes? No one. But when you represent a brand, one slip alters many opinions. People in our society have become very hard to persuade and once a brand is seen in negative light, bringing back that positive image is extremely difficult.

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Image from: (www.ramsaymichellegroup.com)

BRAC doesn’t have a negative reputation or anything, but their brand is not very recognizable. That’s how PR could lend assistance to this specific nonprofit organization.Visibility is key in our society today. We have so many different sources to communicate with audiences and having someone very media savvy is important.

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(www.kansas.com)
Roux House in Downtown Baton Rouge

My group SpotlightBR intends to bring this visibility to the Baton Rouge nightlife using SCVNGR. We will also demonstrate stewardship, civic engagement and social responsibility throughout our work.

Thanks for reading.

Follow @BaileyBigler_
@SpotlightBR2013