Monthly Archives: November 2009

PR Students, Keep that book!

As many universities are approaching the end of the semester, they all have one thing in common–students looking to get some money during buy back week. Approximately two weeks ago I asked the question to professionals and professors “Which PR course textbooks should students keep?” I was pleasantly surprised and shocked by some of the responses.

In regards to PR courses, keep whichever textbook you have for the following:

  • Law & Ethics
  • Research
  • Writing and/or Media course
  • Campaigns
  • A course of specific interest to your desired field

In regards to specific PR textbooks, responses included:

Additional comments varied from don’t keep any of your PR books due to the evolving nature of the profession, to subscribing to various RSS feeds. Check out the comments for yourself. Thanks to all who responded.

Any additional books or courses you would add? All suggestions welcomed.



Filed under public relations

10 Commandments for Listening

When I discussed the chapter on Listening earlier this semester with my Public Speaking students, I decided to do something different- let them develop the code of conduct for listening during speeches, along with appropriate consequences. The students devised the “10 Commandments for Listening” in the PowerPoint below. Of course there are consequences for breaking the commandments and I allowed the students to develop those as well. One student wanted “eternal damnation” as the consequence for breaking a commandment, but the group decided on the following instead:

  • 1st offense: You are first to speak during the next set of speeches
  • 2nd offense: In addition to the first consequence, you recieve 2-3 points off your speech

What are your thoughts on the groups “10 Commandments for Listening.” Anything you would add?

And yes, they have stuck to these all semester. There haven’t been any complaints from violaters either.


Filed under classes, public speaking

Making it to Thanksgiving Break

As you all know Thanksgiving Break is around the corner (Woo hoo!!). Yet, the problem with knowing the end is in sight is when become lazy and desire to quit working before we should. So before you get too caught up in your holiday plans, here are a few tips to get you through the remaining two weeks.

  1. Schedule daily breaks. Our body and brain need rest. You are physically at your best when you feel refreshed and not overwhelmed. Besides, you bring fresh eyes to the table when you come back to a task. Your break may consist of a walk around the park, a trip to the gym, or a short drive to get something to eat. Don’t work and eat as that defeats the purpose.  

    Thanksgiving table

    Photo credit: basykes

  2. Map out your next two weeks in detail. Make yourself a spreadsheet, on paper or electronically, that highlights the remaining days and times you intend to complete various tasks. Be as detailed as possible, inserting times you will work to complete tasks if necessary. If you have a visual reminder of everything that needs to be completed it should (key word should) help you stay focused as task completion will put you one step closer to Thanksgiving Break.
  3. Break-up long tasks. Do you really have 5 hours to put aside on one day to one task? Yes, some people are great at this, but the average person, looking at their schedule, wouldn’t have the time. Instead of attempting to do 5 hour chuncks at a time, choose to focus 1-2 hours on a specific task instead. If you do this throughout the the day you’ll eventually complete 5 hours on that task.
  4. Gradually plan your break. The problem with breaks is that we become so consumed in planning them, because it is fun, we fail to recognize the amount of time we are devoting to the upcoming break that should be directed elsewhere. Should you plan your holidays, of course, but really, do you need one day to plan out whose house you’ll be visiting this break? Remember, the holidays are UPON US, they aren’t here yet.
  5. Treat yourself. Whenever you complete a task reward yourself. This could be something as simple as going to your favorite coffee shop or picking up that pair of earrings you been debating over. Your reward doesn’t have to be elaborate, just significant to you.

What are some things you do to stay sane and focused before upcoming holiday breaks?

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Filed under personal thoughts