In an effort to increase the program’s enrollment numbers at the university, students from Eastern Michigan University’s public relations programare spreading awareness about the public relations program to high schoolers and EMU students who might be interested.
Throughout the fall semester, a group of students from a PR course instructed by professor Lolita Cummings campaigned for the public relations program in ways they feel will best grab the attention of their peers. At EMU, this was done through the university’s social media pages and campus giveaways. The group has also posted flyers around the university’s campus to further inform students about the program.
EMU’s public relations program students complete courses that build the skills and discipline needed to graduate with real-world experience. For Cummings’ students, this campaign means putting those skills to the test as they prepare to become PR practitioners in the ever-changing communication environment.
“I love that students in my class are creating and implementing this recruitment plan for public relations majors and minors,” said Cummings. “Their energy, excitement, and expertise are crucial to the campaign's success, and they are doing a phenomenal job. I'm often dazzled by their ideas and ability to connect with their peers and other audiences.”
As the campaign continues to reach more students, she hopes more will be interested in the discipline and recognize the great things the field offers.
On Nov. 16, the group decided to branch outside the university and take the campaign to younger audiences. Attending John Glenn High School in Westland, Michigan, the group presented to a class of high school students about the public relations field. The presentation defined public relations and the skills needed to be a PR practitioner. It also discussed the program at EMU.
Nina Scarpelli, one of the students taking part in the public relations campaign and an alumnus of the high school, was proud of the presentation's results.
“It was such a fulfilling feeling to be able to talk about the public relations program with high schoolers and describe the public relations career field to them,” Scarpelli said.
John Glenn High School isn’t the only school students this campaign is hoping to reach. A goal for these students is to spread the word about EMU’s PR program and public relations to Ypsilanti’s fellow community high schools and colleges too.
"The high schoolers were so engaged in the presentation and were eager to learn so much about public relations. It was clear that the interest was raised in the students, putting public relations in their minds as one of their choices for their future careers," Scarpelli said.
This campaign initially started with surveys given to EMU students. Each survey asked questions to gauge the interest of how students felt about public relations. After receiving mixed results, students in this campaign didn’t feel as hopeful about the recruitment plan. But after their success with social media and students at John Glenn High School, things are looking up for this crew as they continue to succeed with the campaign.