Wayne State’s PR institution overall agenda is to raise the stature of Wayne State University. And any public relations activity that they do is aimed towards always achieving that goal and is the actual mission statement of the marketing communications department. Within this institution, on the 3rd floor of the 5700 building on Cass Avenue, sit’s the office of Information Officer and Public relation professional Rasheda Williams. On May 24th at 12:00pm I was given the opportunity to sit down with her to learn what it is to be a PR professional within the working world. Her job description involves anything from writing stories for internal publication and media relations, to pitching to their experts for media stories, responding to reporters to internal communications and media training. She was sure to emphasize how important writing is to the job and she tells all aspiring PR professionals-- that she meets-- to hone their writing skills and be prepared for a lot of writing.
Rasheda didn’t start off as a PR professional. At first, she wanted to be a journalist and studied here—at Wayne State—at the journal institute for media diversity. While interning for the Detroit News, she would always get PR kits and it made her curious in what exactly a public relations professional did. It wasn’t until covering the opening of the casinos in downtown Detroit that she saw PR professionals at work; handing out champagne and greeting guest. She became even more intrigued by the glamorous side of public relations that she started a conversation with one of the professionals –who turned out to be the owner of the PR agency-- covering the event. Soon after, she started as an intern with that exact agency and from there her love for...
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...d really want to do and gives a clear understanding of the work that goes into the position and takes away all the preconceived notions of what they may think public relations professionals are and do.
Another piece of advice that she gave, was to hone your writing skills. Writing plays a big part in the PR profession. And get into volunteer programs, fundraising or a job in sales to get familiar and comfortable with people and being able to pitch ideas. These experiences can be used and can play a large role in helping with selling the media a story.
My time interviewing Rasheada was not only educational, but eye opening. It gave me the opportunity to really understand what it is like to work in the field of PR. Hearing her talk about her experiences and the advice she gave, motivated me to want to try my best to become a great public relations professional.
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