Every semester students have a plethora of opportunities to enrich their learning both on and off campus. The CJ department strongly encourages this and frequently sends out internship and job openings. Whether it is participating in a group project through a class or taking an internship with a local business. There are also paid opportunities for students on campus to strengthen their resume and gain valuable hands-on experience. Alyse Brunella is one of three student writers at the News Bureau this semester.
What is your position at the News Bureau?
I am a student writer. My responsibilities include writing news releases relating to scholarship and award receipts and on-campus events, basically any news story that affects UW-Eau Claire. I also update the university’s calendar with upcoming events.
What is the most challenging situation you have faced there?
We do EVERYTHING in AP Style! It’s important to learn because it’s used in all PR and journalism writing, but it is very different from other writing styles. I find myself constantly checking the style guide.
How will you apply the skills you are learning in your future endeavors?
I’ll most likely be writing everyday, whether it’s releases or emails, so that skill will constantly be applied.
Professional development: I’ll be working in an office for many years to come, so knowing how to interact with others and represent yourself in a good manner is important.
What is the key to writing a quality press release?
Having good sources of information. There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting down at the keyboard and not knowing the detailed facts of a story.
Going along with that, I think it’s important to have good quotes. Personally, I think quotes can really make or break your story. Also, a good headline is key!
Did you apply the skills you have learned in classes to your position?
Yes. I use most, if not all, of the writing and AP style skills I learned in CJ 373. Also, being a good interviewer is important for this job. I need to know which questions to ask in order to develop a good, quality release, which I learned in CJ 222.
How important is writing in a PR position?
IMPORTANT! Any industry professional that I’ve talked to has said write as much and as often as you can.
That would also be my advice to students who are just beginning their communication journey. Your writing doesn’t need to be published, but just working on your style and technique will help tremendously.
Alyse is a Mass Communication major – Public Relations emphasis who will be graduating in May.
Alumni and friends – please share your advice for student writers in the comment section!