A Student’s Perspective of PR – Media Relationships
Interview with UCF Alumna Emilee Jackson
By: Jacqueline Kooser
After attending Media Mashup last month, I got to thinking about all of the insight I gained by listening to each panel. As I took notes throughout the day, I wondered if journalism students were being educated on the potential relationships they will have with PR professionals. Are the textbooks dedicating a chapter to this important relationship? Most communications students are educated on the legalities that come with different fields working together, but what about the actual networking process and the ethics that come along with it?
I reached out to a UCF alumna, Emilee Jackson, who graduated from the university with a degree in journalism and two minors, one in entrepreneurship and another in digital media. Taking on internships teaches students the real world necessities to build and maintain these professional relationships, but what is going on in the classroom?
The first question I had for Emilee pertained to the biggest takeaway from her journalism courses. “As a journalism graduate, I learned that mutual respect will get you very far,” she explained, and then elaborated on her knowledge of PR – media relationships. “Building a professional relationship with those in the public relations industry will help you learn about stories or learn details that others who are further away from the source may not learn.” I had never considered this until listening to the different speakers from local publications here in Orlando. I also asked Emilee about her personal plans to maintain relationships with those who work in other fields of communication. She explained how she is going to aim to have strong, credible relationships with those working in public relations so that she can fulfill her duty as a journalist to get impactful community news out as soon as possible.
Being a writing and rhetoric major at UCF has its perks when entering the field of communications. We get the chance to take courses that are geared towards specific types of writing in the field. The journalism program prepares its students to work not only in that particular field, but to also succeed when it comes to teaming up with other fields. “Being required to write articles on tight deadlines for my classes gave me no choice but to figure out how to receive the information I needed in a timely manner, which I think is essential to successfully interacting with PR professionals” says Emilee.
Learning more about these necessary networks has really inspired me to never slack off on putting myself out there as a young professional. Presenting yourself properly will make a long lasting first impression that will continue to renew each time teamwork takes place.
Thanks to FPRA Orlando for putting on such an informative Media Mashup, and another thanks to Emilee Jackson for the insight on the student perspective.