3 fun activities for a public relations class

Guest post by Chloe Trogden

The spectrum of public relations goes far beyond just writing press releases. There are a variety of other aspects students must learn during their studies that are not only essential to the public relations business, but fun and interesting as well.

Whether you’re a public relations professor and you’re hoping to integrate new activities to the students in your classroom, or you’re a public relations student and you need to think of a good team project for an assignment, here are three activities you could try in a public relations classroom:

    1. Promote a fashion show

Contact a local clothing store and see if the owner would be interested in putting some of their clothing and products in a fashion show for the university or classroom. Ask the students to find out various information about the different items of clothing as well as pricing information, and then put together a media kit to give out to the attendants of the fashion show.

You could even go as far as contacting other students who would be interested in modelling for the show, (if the owner doesn’t already have someone in mind already), and then include biographical information about the models as well as photographs of each item of clothing in the media kit as well.

You could ask your university student organization if they would help organize the show by hosting it in a classroom or a lounge area in the school, or ask the business owner if they would be interested in having the fashion show in their store as well.

    1. Conduct a survey

Ask a group of students to write up their own survey on any topic of their choice, and then ask them to write up a series of questions to ask other students or even professors on campus.

Once the answers are complete, tell the students to put their results in a power point presentation with graphics, percentages, etc. and then do a presentation for the classroom once they are finished.

You could even ask students to record a podcast discussing the findings of the survey, or write a post about it on a blog as well.

    1. Promote a campus talent competition

Ask your students to venture out on the campus and see if any music or theatre students would be interested in participating in an upcoming talent competition. In order to promote the competition, the students will need to write up a media kit which includes all the biographical information of the competitors, and also write up a press release to submit to the university or college newspaper as well.

You could even go as far as asking the students to record the competition with a video camera, and then post the video files on a website or blog as well.



Chloe Trogden specializes in research involving all forms of college grants. She has compiled thousands of resources including teaching grants and Minnesota college grants along with many others. She is currently attending UNC Chapel Hill and is entering her Junior year in the fall.


#TeamMeg A special post on the most important kind of relationship: friendship

Meg & I were college roommates back at American University many years ago. We were both in the School of Public Affairs and Delta Gamma sisters. We got in trouble once at the campus store for not wearing shoes and managed to survive for the first week of our sophomore year on a diet of bagels and beer ( the campus bank had switched over the summer and we couldn’t access our accounts for several days… bagels were only 45 cents and we made do!)

We learned to deal with “roommate issues”; she’d set her alarm a half hour early so that she could snooze for 30 minutes… to country music. My Great Aunt Lenore would call and talk her ear off. I actually grew to appreciate country music. She grew to love Aunt Lenore. And somewhere amidst the fraternity formals, late night study sessions and weekends exploring DC, we became friends. Lifelong friends who know how to make each other laugh and will always be there for each other. Think of a very special college friend and you’ll no doubt understand.

Years passed and though we were still roommates our first year out of college, we went different ways. She got married and moved to Denver, and then back to her home state of Kansas. I moved to New York City, got married and moved out to NJ. But it turns out that time and geography simply do not matter. I can still make her laugh. She still has my back

Just over a week ago, as I was waiting for the train after a dinner in the city with some out of town friends who were visiting NYC for BlogWorld, I saw I had received a message on Facebook from Megan. I laughed, thinking that after all these years she and I still had this weird connection. She must have somehow known I was talking about her at dinner that night. (I had been telling Justin Goldsborough and Arik Hanson about her antics as a Jayhawks fan). Then I read the note. Standing in Penn Station I learned that this dear friend, sorority sister and mother of 2 beautiful young girls has been diagnosed with Cancer. It has spread to her liver as well as 2 places in her bones. She asked me to share the news with our friends, because she did not have the strength to do so.

The next week was a blur. Sharing the news I could not quite grasp with friends I had not spoken with in (far too many) years. Holding virtual hands as we united to try and figure out how we could make this all better.  I spoke with Meg’s husband, the head Tennis Coach at Washburn who was busy pulling together a team of doctors, specialists and supporters that could help. Like any great coach, Dave is doing everything he can to keep spirits up and beat the odds. The odds are not good. Every moment has become a precious gift for Dave, Meg and their daughters Alexa (8) and Nadia (5). Meg is not ready to say goodbye. We are not ready to say goodbye. Friendship is forever.  And I want Meg to know that she, and her family, will ALWAYS have our love and support.

So I’d like to ask you to be a part of #TeamMeg. Here is her CaringBridge site which includes a link to a paypal account. I know that everyone has a good cause, but I hope you will consider adding $2 to the account. Why $2? Well, I seem to remember a local $2 beer night when we were in college. And we always seemed to find $2 to buy a beer. So tonight, I thought, perhaps you would buy this incredible girl a drink, and toast to #TeamMeg.

Valerie Merahn Simon

2011 #PRStudChat graduation session

Thank you to all of the PR pros, educators and students who came out to celebrate our newest public relations professionals at the 2011 #PRStudChat graduation session. The Winners of the 2011 #PRStudChat Graduation Giftaway are….

Ian M. Bridgeforth Ian will be winning his choice of one of the on demand toolkits on Ragan.com

Harris Walker Harris will be winning his choice of one of the on demand toolkits on Ragan.com

Whitney Gonzalez Whitney is the winner of author Jenny Blake’s new book Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want

More about Graduation Speaker Mark Ragan: Mark Ragan is CEO and Publisher Lawrence Ragan Communications, Inc. the leading publisher of corporate communications, public relations, and leadership development newsletters. Since the launch of The Ragan Report in 1970, Ragan has provided the professional communicator and executives with timely, practical, and relevant information that few others can match. The Ragan brand now includes over 16 targeted newsletters in the areas of employee communication, organizational writing and editing, sales and marketing, media relations and motivational management. In addition to our newsletter division, Ragan produces several communications conferences, workshops, and senior-level forums throughout the United States. Ragan conferences draw more than 3,000 professionals annually and provide attendees with access to leading communicators, best practices and rich networking opportunities.

More about author Jenny Blake: In LifeAfter College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want., published by Running Press, Jenny provides a life road map applicable to recent grads and seasoned professionals alike. Jenny writes the popular blog LifeAfterCollege.org, which was voted #1 by readers in a national list of Top 10 Gen Y blogs and covers topics related to your career, finances, relationships and everything in between. She has been nationally recognized by Suze Orman and the Wall Street Journal as a leader of her generation. Jenny has worked at Google since 2006, serving as a Career Development Program Manager and internal coach.

More About PRStudChat

#PRStudChat April Book Giveaway

Thank you to Eric Schwartzman (@eschwartzman) and Paul Gillin (@pgillin), the authors of the book, Social Marketing to the Business Customer for helping make this a terrific April PRStudChat session!

We’ll be giving away 1 copy of their book to member of the #PRStudChat community. To enter, just leave a comment with your name & twitter handle, and a favorite tweet from tonight’s session. The winner will be picked using randomizer and announced Monday, April 25!