Thursday, May 31, 2007

Schools Not Prepared for Today's PR

Edelman and PRWeek will be hosting an Academics Summit on June 7-8 in New York City. Among the notables guests ar David Kirkpatrick and Dan Gilmor. According to the site, "The New Media Academic Summit will convene business leaders, academics, journalists, bloggers and communications professionals to discuss the challenges facing universities in preparing the next generation of graduates."

When I was leaving college in 2002, the USC Annenberg School for Communication began cross training journalism students to be prepared to write for print, produce or be on air for broadcast and develop Web design skills. Altough I majored in print journalism, I was able to have brief stints with and FOX KTTV-11 in addition to a few print gigs with the Orange County Register and a customer publisher called Imagination Publishing that published Wells Fargo Business Advisor. But at that time, the cross pollination and emergence of bloggers was at its infancy so I didn't get exposed to it much until my second year in the PR biz.

Recent college graduates have contacted me in hopes of getting help in landing an internship or an entry-level position. I've been pretty disapointed in the quality of experience that I've seen. Not due to lack of effort on the candidates part but a lot of the opportunities are limited to drafting a release, pulling together a media kit and event coordination.

Events like these are a very positive step to connect students, educators and real life practitioners and I hope to see more of these events in the future. Unless we participate in contributing to the success of these students, we shouldn't be in a position to complain about the new candidates that come out of local colleges.

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