Suzanne Lowery Mims
Department of Communication
Social media, writing & engagement PR
Director, PR in London Study Abroad
George Mason University
The classroom is our lab.
Above: Alexandra Tubell created the We Are Mason Comm video through our PR Practicum course. The video is a central branding element in a campaign to increase awareness of the career prospects offered by a communication degree.
In MimsPR classes, students are a asked to produce a lot. No apologies for that. PR professionals are very productive people. Often these assignments go through a first draft-peer review-revision process so that the final version gets closer to professional standards. And that all takes place in the classroom, without the on-the-job pressure to get it right.
PR in today's social-mediated, participatory world is exciting, exploding and evolving. More than ever, effective public relations begins with having something to say.
Can you really say something substantive in 140 (or 280) characters or less? Yes, with the right strategy. Is an image really worth a thousand words? More like a million, if it is the right picture. Does PR actually do anything? Yes. PR messages have built coalitions, destroyed misconceptions, and saved lives. Teaching public relations is really about teaching students to embrace the disciplined approach espoused by PR scholars and practitioners: research, planning, execution, measurement. It starts with research, strategy and ...having something to say.
Why I teach
My purpose is to help students launch their careers. Mason Comm gives me the freedom and encouragement to craft the courses I teach to deliver hands-on experiences that build the skills students need in order to achieve confidence and competence. To be able to say: I can do this. And have something to show that proves it.I also have students practice synthesizing and analyzing information. Anyone can write a tweet or a press release. The job applicant who can review a brief and develop sound strategies and tactics? That's the one who will be hired.
An in-house team: Communication majors often find careers in public relations agencies or consultancies but many seek the opportunity to work on behalf of a single organization as an in-house PR counselor. The PR Practicum offers students a semester-long immersion into working in that capacity. Students will work as a team on behalf of the department of communication and expand their portfolios to include a variety of PR tools.
PR & SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT
What makes some content so sticky and spreadable that it becomes contagious?
How can organizations tap into social networks and engage a conversation that returns on investment? Students study the science of sharing and create integrated campaigns using social media for social good.
NEW for Fall 2018: students will become Hubspot Certified and are enrolled in Hubspot Academy's social media marketing course.