Sunday, September 26, 2010
Your Career and You: "Connecting the Dots"
It occurred to me this morning as I was checking in with my Curry College PR Student Association executive board members that there is a step missing in the communication of information between those of us on the professional side of the equation and those on the hoping-to-become-professionals side.
I asked a simple question: "Does anyone plan to go to the Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Candidate Forum that's being held at Curry College on Monday?"
To put it mildly, the silence has been deafening.
Apparently no one has given even the slightest thought to...as a member of the student-run pre-professional public relations organization's leadership team...going to a FREE, once-in-a-blue-moon major public relations-driven opportunity...right there on their campus!!
Now those who have known me for more than 20 seconds know full well that I can go off in a heartbeat when it comes to taking advantage of opportunities to see and be seen...and to learn something outside the classroom.
It's all about "connecting the dots."
It's all about asking yourself and then answering the question: "If I do this, how might it help me in my ongoing efforts to learn all that there is to know about becoming a public relations professional?"
This is where the process apparently breaks down. Unless someone stands in front of you holding a ginormous poster with a message written in big block letters that clearly tells you why doing something is going to be good for you, you're not going to do it.
Will some of my "Principles of Public Relations" students be at this event? Yes...because I offered them the chance for a good grade if they attend (or watch it on our campus television channel) and write me a short paper outlining the candidates' main themes and how public opinion played a role in the candidates' responses.
My hope in doing this...and offering this bribe...is that at least one or two of them will get it...will see the huge role that public relations plays in government, in business, in everything.
And, by making this connection, they will get as excited about going into the public relations career field as I have been for the past 40-plus years first as a practitioner and now as a professor.
To repeat...it's all about "connecting the dots."
"The people may be made to follow a path of action, but they may not be made to understand it."
Confucius, "The Confucius Analects," bk. 8:9