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This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the October 9, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Teaching PR Techniques

The New Jersey Chapter of the Public Relations Society

of America (PRSA-NJ) launches its Public Relations Institute of New

Jersey on Friday, October 11, at a half-day professional development

symposium at Rutgers University Student Center, beginning at 8 a.m.

Cost: $60, but $10 for students. Call 973-984-6184.

Mike Cherenson, president of the organization and vice president

of the Cherenson Group, a marketing company with offices in

Livingston,

says the new institute is an educational body whose aim is "to

teach about the power of public relations." For now, it does not

have a building, but has entered into partnerships with Rutgers and

with Fairleigh Dickinson.

The institute is being formulated not only to meet the professional

development needs of PR practitioners, but also to teach the public

about PR techniques and to introduce college students around the state

to the profession.

At its upcoming program, the institute’s offerings for professionals

include seminars on trends in public relations, advanced media

relations,

PR in regulated industries, entertainment PR, and financial

forecasting.

Cherenson says solo practitioners, non-profits, and small companies

need to know about public relations too, and the institute’s inaugural

event has a full schedule geared specifically to these organizations.

It starts off with a look at how the Internet can be used for media

relations and for disseminating information. Next is a seminar titled

"Media Relations 101." It covers writing effective press

releases,

how to set up an editorial board, how to pitch to different kinds

of media, and how to create a resource list.

Also for the non-professional are seminars on member and internal

communications, creating effective publications — layout, writing,

graphics, and costs — and lobbying and government affairs.

Cherenson, speaking on a day when the New York Times featured a

hand-cuffed

executive on its front page, cited high-profile corporate scandals

as a reason every organization needs to know the basics of PR. With

luck, the skills learned at the Institute will not have to be used

to explain the presence of police cars at the office door. But even

if the boss is not carted away to jail, it can’t hurt to have a bagful

of PR strategies at the ready.


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