Many of us may recall the ‘what did I do on my summer vacation’ essay question at the beginning of the school year. For 17 graduate students in our Digital Media and Corporate and Organizational Communication programs, the summer break was an opportunity to do something very consequential.
With the guidance of our digital marketing expert and instructor, Christina Inge, they designed a brand identity and website for our Virtual PR Firm (VPRF).
We’ve just finished the first year of our Virtual Public Relations Firm (VPRF). Based on both achievements and feedback from everyone involved, it was a good one that has us planning for bigger and better things as the new school year approaches.
For our clients, the experience was similar to working with a small PR agency helping them to increase brand awareness and reach new audiences. Under the guidance of instructors, who also are industry professionals, the students first developed a research report, then created a strategic PR plan, and ultimately designed and delivered a wide range of promotional content.
“I think the students were superb,” said Jared Auclair, Director of BATL. “They produced really high quality work.”
In this Q&A, Dr. Ed Powers, Professor of Practice and PR pro, discusses the launch of a new model for learning about PR research, strategy, and tactics: the Virtual PR Firm.
Q: What’s it all about?
A: It’s the next level in experiential learning for our students. Our virtual firm looks and feels just like a small public relations agency. Through it we are integrating our public relations coursework with six-month projects covering six months for real-life clients. And the students will perform the client work using a leading marketing software tool. The purpose is to have students ready for PR jobs that are in demand in the marketplace. Continue reading “Our Virtual PR Firm takes experiential learning to a new level”
The 1st Annual ePortfolio Showcase was held on Monday, October 28th at The Cabral Center on campus. The event, attended by more than 50 students, alumni, and faculty, recognized the top 4 ePortfolio ‘authors’ for 2018-19: Josh Gelinas, Jessica Kline, Jingyi Lyu, Liz McCarthy.
Dr. Ed Powers kicked off the ceremony, providing an overview of the ePortfolio program and how it has evolved as a central feature of the Corporate and Organizational Communication master’s program at Northeastern. The honorees were selected by a panel of members of our Alumni Advisory Council.
Ed Powers, Professor of the Practice for the MS in Corporate and Organizational Communication program, is an experienced corporate communications executive with a strong base in adult learning and curriculum development.
He began teaching at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies on a part-time basis in 2008 and joined as a full-time faculty member in 2017. During his time at Northeastern, he has taught courses in 10 topic areas and was the architect for the Public and Media Relations concentration.
During his thirty-year career in the industry, Ed gained experience in nearly every facet of corporate communications, working for companies in half-a-dozen industries and serving as the chief communications officer for several billion-dollar organizations.
To survive in a rapidly-evolving digital environment, organizations must, according to researchers at the global consulting firm McKinsey, “infuse their cultures with velocity, flexibility, an external orientation, and the ability to learn” (Catlin, et al., 2015, p. 4). For professionals in a wide range of functional areas, strategic communication skills are vital in helping their organizations adapt to this challenging environment.
Northeastern flipped the script on its annual State of the University celebration, presenting an engaging new format in which President Joseph E. Aoun and other university leaders and students delivered remarks from locations across the country and abroad while underscoring Northeastern’s foundational strengths: global, diverse, innovative, entrepreneurial, and experiential.
91 Corporate and Organizational Communication graduates were recognized at the College of Professional Studies graduation ceremony on May 12th.
The ceremony was held at Matthews Arena on campus with all the requisite pomp and circumstance. I’m always inspired by the sense of achievement exhibited by the graduates — and the enthusiastic pride of their families and friends in the stands.
Our global network of alumni continues to expand, and in an upcoming post my colleague Patty Goodman will share her experiences at recent Northeastern alumni events in Singapre and Beijing.
The role of the Chief Communication Officer (CCO) is evolving rapidly in this era of digital disruption. Communication leaders and their teams are uniquely positioned to help nurture the kind of high-velocity cultures that will help organizations thrive, according to research by McKinsey & Company. Not surprisingly, this also means that communication leaders are increasingly expected to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of business strategy.
We’re kicking off 2017 with several initiatives. The first involves adding more concentrations to our master’s program to meet the needs of our students – we’ll soon have eight concentrations! And the second is designed to create additional pathways to a graduate education by offering transfer credit for demonstrated competencies.
New Concentrations We are introducing two new concentrations. The first is essentially a ‘management track’ for communication professionals who have at least 5 years of experience and are managing a communication team or aspire to. The concentration has a rather long-winded title – Leading Communication Strategy and Talent Development. It will be an interdisciplinary program with three new courses that will be based on research that Zorana Mihic, a current student in our program, and I are conducting. We plan to share our research findings with you in the coming weeks.
The second new concentration, Cross-Cultural Communication, is being designed by my colleague Patty Goodman. It too is interdisciplinary and drills much deeper into the skills and knowledge required to communicate effectively to diverse audiences. A unique feature with this concentration is an option of selecting an international path or social justice path. Both paths include two new courses focused on cultural awareness employing a Cultural Intelligence (CQ) assessment and developing strategic action plans.
Multiple Pathways to a Graduate Education at Northeastern Northeastern is actively promoting ways to recognize the competencies potential students have demonstrated by granting advanced standing transfer credit where these competencies map to specific course learning outcomes in our program. The accreditation examinations of several professional associations have met that standard of academic rigor. We therefore will grant transfer credit (representing a tuition discount of from 7% to 20%) for the following certifications: PRSA’s Accreditation in Public Relations, the Society of Human Resource Management’s SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications, and IABC’s Communication Management Professional certification. If you have colleagues or friends with these certifications, please encourage them to consider an accelerated graduate degree in our program!