The Power of Collaboration

When I first came to JMU, I was a music composition major. After I realized that music composition entailed tinkering away at a single piece of music for hours on end all by myself, I realized that I needed something collaborative. As someone who thrives off of interpersonal communication and the relationships it forms, I couldn’t become a tinkerer. I had gotten as far as I did in music composition primarily due to the help of the ADHD medications I was prescribed. I finally became sick of their side effects – they sapped away at my creativity and ability to connect with others without feeling anxious – and realized that I needed to find a field where I was rewarded for my natural, un-medicated personality. I thought back to all the fun I had in the gen-ed communications class that I had taken with Dr. Dan Schill, and changed my major to Communications with a Public Relations concentration that same day. Because of this choice, I haven’t needed ADHD meds

for over two years. Now my eyes are set on the future, and after spending some time at Bluestone, I’m feeling optimistic.

Because I love interpersonal communication, I’ve felt in my element as Client Relations Director for the Matchbox Realty account. I believe that one of the keys to good PR is finding clients that you can get to know just like you would a friend. If you are able to forge such a relationship with your client, it’s indicative of an ethical overlap between the two of you. As a PR practitioner, it’s extremely important to me that my clients and I are on the same page when it comes to ethics. It’s equally important to understand your publics. In this field, you are the mediator between the publics and your client, so it’s important to make sure that good ethical practices are being honored for the sake of everyone involved. Nobody gains anything from unethical practice.

Communication studies has reaffirmed my belief that people from all walks of life deserve to be understood, not just heard. It’s my responsibility to uphold this belief as a PR practitioner and student of communication.

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