Public Relations Capstone Prepares Students for the Future

Public relations students are capping off their studies collaborating with ChildServe, an organization out of Johnston which helps children with healthcare needs.

The capstone is taught by Jane Murphy, associate professor of public relations. Murphy said she chose this project because she feels the students in the course will benefit from working with this organization and gain valuable skills.

“It is the culmination of their public relations curriculum, which is centered in what we call the four-step process of PR,” Murphy said. “This project is often the most beneficial portfolio piece for students looking to maintain a PR career.”

The capstone is a competition among three groups which will all create a full strategic plan and present it to ChildServe staff members at the end of the semester.

Murphy told the class the final project will help them in the job market, showing employers they can make a complete public relations plan.

Senior Emily Parker says the project will give her skills for her professional career.

“This capstone project will help me strengthen my leadership skills by simulating an agency environment and will allow me to create real plans and marketing pieces that I can add to my portfolio,” Parker said.

Not only will the project help prepare students, it also teaches them how to work in groups to achieve a goal.

Baillee Furst is in her third year at Simpson. Furst says improving the team dynamic is essential to a successful outcome.

“I’ve never been in a class where breaking through the different stages of group tension was a priority, and I think knowing said layers and how to break through them will definitely help me in the future,” Furst said.

The students are currently in the research phase and took a visit to ChildServe’s Johnston location last Tuesday. Junior Blake Carlson said he is excited to provide ChildServe more information to help them grow.

“I want to give them valuable research information, since it’s not always feasible for non-profits to fund larger research projects like this,” Carlson said.

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