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Archive for December, 2007

This post is dedicated to the students about to present their campaigns (tomorrow) at Kent State… 

 All PRKenters (a.k.a. students in Kent State’s public relations sequence) heard horror stories about senior seminar/campaigns, which I wrote about here, from the time we entered the major.  All of those who had gone before us had the same words of warning.  It is the hardest class you will ever take.  You will either learn to love or hate the classmates in your group by the time it is all over.  You will stop sleeping, eating and having fun during that semester.  All of your life will be sucked away until the moment after your group presents to the client and it is all over.

I’ll admit under no uncertain terms that it was by far the most time-consuming and intense class I ever took.  I was completely immersed in my client, and my social life did disintegrate in front of my eyes.  It seemed that a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders when I was finally done and able to glimpse my ‘A’ through a film of happy tears.

 Obviously I’m not quite over it, and based on recent events, I’m glad for that.  Although I heard a number of students complain that it wasn’t really a necessary or real world experience for them because they didn’t plan to go into agency work where they would ever have to campaign for a client, I always disagreed on the premise that it was still a class that forced you to use what you had (hopefully) learned throughout the course of your major.  At the very least you had to work through each step of the RACE formula and appreciate in some small way its importance and significance.

The only problem with campaigns is really beyond the control of the classroom exercise, and that is that most people don’t get to go through another experience like that for some time.  Even if you enter an agency, you begin as an assistant account executive or maybe account executive, and while you might have some input or hand in helping with upcoming proposals for new business, you don’t have the bulk of the research, strategizing, writing and presenting trusted to you.  That is usually the task of a senior executive or account planner with years of experience.

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