New Semester, New Chapter

With a week of Christmas break to go, I guess it’s time to start thinking about this upcoming semester and re-evaluate some things. This blog was started as an ongoing assignment for a Public Relations class. I spun it as a career hunt. Last semester and the last few weeks have taught me, I don’t want to career hunt anymore.

When people ask about my major I say “Communication.” It is usually almost always followed by either “What is that?” or “What are you going to do with that?” I then feel obligated to tell them I am in the PR and Advertising track. This statement is always followed by a disclaimer that says, “I know I don’t want to do advertising, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to do traditional PR. This is just the closest track to what I might want to do.” Then questions like, “What DO you want to do?” are asked. Well, I want to do a lot! Who says you have to pick one career (at least right now)?

This realization is the basis for my new life chapter/blog. I am going to spend this semester doing what I love to do and blogging about it. Why blog? Because everyone has something to say and whether a million people want to hear it or just your mom we should say it because we is kind, we is smart, and we is important.

***I do owe a good friend a shout out and thank you for partly inspiring this blog. She has a really cool blog called Whale You Be My Friend? that you should check out. Kayla is a talented graphic designer who posts so many great ideas from crafting and DIY to entertainment and food and more!***

Passion=Career

There’s this question I get asked frequently by family, friends, co-workers, strangers, etc. I used to not like it because I didn’t know how to answer it. I’m sure you might have gotten it before. It’s the, “What are you going to do with your degree?” question. I have mentioned in a previous post that I became a Communication major for some pretty lame reasons (I liked working with people and everyone needs communication skills). Two years can teach a person a lot about who they are and what they are passionate about. I love answering this question now because I get to talk about something I am passionate about: Youth Ministry (Catholic Youth Ministry, more specifically).

Youth Ministry in the Catholic faith is important. The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry’s website says, ” The church must become the traveling companion of young people—and that is what we mean by youth ministry. If, indeed, ‘it takes an entire village to raise a child,’ then it certainly takes an entire church to journey with young people as they grapple with the Good News and respond in discipleship.”

I am who I am today because of Catholic Youth Ministry. I have seen its benefits first hand not only in me but for other young people looking for a purpose and looking for love.

Now, how can I use my degree in Communication to pursue a career in Youth Ministry? Well, Youth Ministry is not just about the relational aspect of ministering. There is a ton of behind the scenes work that goes into good Catholic Youth Ministry. This is where I want to be involved. I love the relational ministry part, but I am more interested in supporting others who have a real gift for it. My dream job is to work for a Youth Ministry program such as Life Teen. I honestly don’t know specifically what I want to do, but I do want to be a part of the mission to lead teens closer to Christ in whatever capacity I can.

Being a Communication major with a focus in PR and minor in Religious and Theological Studies seems to be a good fit for this future career. No matter what, I believe I have passions for a reason, and I am going to pursue them.

PR is for Listeners

It should be common sense that Public Relations is a type of communication, and communication is a two-way street according to the Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication.

This would mean in order for Public Relations to be true communication, there must be some feedback. What makes good Public Relations is how much this feedback is listened to.

Social media has become a huge tool for organizations wanting to listen. From Twitter and Facebook to blogs and webpages, Public Relations professionals are taking advantage of the ability to hear what their publics are saying.

Maria Ogneva, Head of Community at the enterprise social network “Yammer,” has 10 Steps for Successful Social Media Monitoring. She notes that effective listening involves strategy and planning.

Another blog post from early this year covering the “Pay Attention! Social Listening Done Right” panel at this year’s Social Media Week in New York also engages in conversation about listening in PR.

Know matter how you are listening, though, it is simply important that you ARE listening.

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