This isn’t your parents’ PR

As a savvy, young professional you’re probably already twittering short messages to your friends and using RSS feeds and Technorati to gain traction for your blog. And if not using these valuable tools, well, it’s time to start.

So many of my students come into my class, expecting to write press releases and get tips on how to pitch the media – and that’s a huge part of public relations, but not all of it.

In these days of converged media and people finding more and more of their information online, it is absolutely essential for students to think outside the proverbial box – we’re talking new media.

I’m not suggesting that students run out and learn all of the ins and outs of every Facebook application known to man, but rather, they need to look at some practical ways that new media can serve clients.

We’ve all been hearing the horror stories of air travel, recently. Never ending security lines, bags scrutinized for every last drop of liquid, awkward body searches when private piercings set off metal detectors. Frequent fliers and families on vacation have long voiced their concern and the Transportation Security Administration decided to do a little PR work to help clean up their image. Their answer was not a press release, it was a blog.

In January, Evolution of Security, the official TSA blog was launched to engage travelers in a dialogue on security procedures throughout the nation’s airports. The blog has allowed TSA to not only effectively reach their audience, but also to receive feedback directly from their customers without costly focus groups or surveys.

So learn some basics of new media, start a professional blog to write about something that interests you and add some cool new media applications to it. Not only will you hone your writing skills, but you’ll gain valuable assets for your future career, as well.

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