• jalexanderapr

From research to professional development - my cup runneth over this Fall

The first week of the semester is in my rearview mirror. It is always refreshing when I meet new students, and get to see some faces that I already know. I particularly enjoy watching students discover public relations as a career option, and then grow as they take more PR courses.


The last class in the PR sequence is public relations campaigns. Every semester we have a different client and the students work as a team to research and build a PR plan. This semester is exceptionally interesting because we are working with another professor to develop a PR plan promoting organ donation among minority populations. This project will last the entire academic year as we intend to submit our plan to PRSSA's National Organ Donation Competition sponsored by The Anthony J. Fulginiti PRSSA Chapter at Rowan University.


We are learning about the challenges facing both patients waiting for a donor and families of the deceased who have a decision to make. According to the American Transplant Foundation, 18 people die every day in the United States for want of an organ transplant, and some 122,344 people are waiting for a donated organ. Researchers at Stanford University state, "In countries such as Austria, laws make organ donation the default option at the time of death, and so people must explicitly “opt out” of organ donation. In these so-called opt-out countries, more than 90% of people donate their organs. Yet in countries such as U.S. and Germany, people must explicitly “opt in” if they want to donate their organs when they die. In these opt-in countries, fewer than 15% of people donate their organs at death."


More on the project as we uncover more possibilities.


The start of school means that summer is winding down. My last sunflower has bloomed. It is the tallest and most spectacular of the year. This photo will remind me of the summer heat when I am freezing in January. I am busy preparing lessons, grading work and planning for the PRSA Midwest District Conference in September. I will journey to Columbia, Mo. Home of both Columbia College and University of Missouri - Columbia.


And in October, it is time for PRSA's International Conference in San Diego. The full program has been released. There is so much to choose from in this action packed program. Remember, in a previous post, I recommended that if you are in San Diego on Saturday, be sure to get a ticket to see Angela Sinickas and discover the secrets to calculating the ROI of your PR campaign. As I review the program, I am overwhelmed with the variety and expertise of the presenters. Check out the program, I hope to see you in San Diego.

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