By Erin Zaranec
We’ve all heard that a key component of public relations is writing, writing and more writing. As public relations professionals, one must be able to tell the story of their employer. One of the best ways to do this is through the media.
Reporting is a course that teaches you journalistic writing. In the 15-weeks you take Reporting, you become a reporter for The Kent Stater. At the beginning of the semester, you are assigned a beat, or topic, to cover for the semester. These beats include student life, health, finance, academics, administration and covering Kent State’s schools, colleges and regional campuses.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering – why should I work for The Kent Stater if I’m a PR major? When working for The Stater, the majority of your pieces will be published in print or on the web. These published pieces will do wonders for your portfolio. At the end of the semester, you can tell hiring managers that you have published bylines online and that you worked on deadline as an actual reporter.
During your time in Reporting, you work with an assigning editor. These are JMC students who have taken Reporting and are your liaison between class and the Stater. In my role as an assigning editor, I work with 12 reporters to assign, budget and edit articles each week.
Learning to write and think like journalists are important skills for our profession. If you don’t know how to think like a journalist, how are you going to pitch a story to one? If you’re organization has a great new program, you’ll be pitching that program to reporters.
Reporting is a hectic course. You will be writing approximately one article per week, so be sure to balance your class schedule. While it is a challenge, seeing your portfolio grow is a really rewarding experience.
Here are my tips for surviving Reporting: