For PR pros, all news is local

Whether it’s a city council election or a manufacturing scandal in Bangladesh, everything that’s in the public sphere could affect your clients.

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It’s true: While working for an apparel company client, I learned more about Bangladeshi manufacturing than I ever thought I would know. I spent hours each week monitoring media outlets and became passionate about a topic I’d never found interesting before.

Research is one of the best skills PR professionals possess. The ability to analyze news and current events is not only crucial in entry-level positions but at every level in an organization.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I often tuned out the 6 o’clock news when it discussed the latest scandal in Bangladesh. I thought: How does this affect me?

My internship taught me firsthand that in the public relations field, all news is important news. Who knows when a recent event—national or international—might cause client crises or even spark inspiration? I began listening to the news with the ears of the clients, an opportunity for continuous learning and professional development.

Capstone Agency, our student-run firm at The University of Alabama, has an insights department that is crucial to every campaign we run. It specializes in formative research and analytics to ensure our clients receive the most effective communication strategies and tactics for their organizations.

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