Students in all my public relations classes have to create a blog and post regularly. Semester after semester, I have some complainers about this assignment – not a lot, but a few. Yet, at the beginning of every semester, I open with the disclaimer that the assignment is here to stay because I see true value in it for the students.
My confidence in keeping the assignment in place often comes from former students as they share how their blogging experience is put to use in their professional careers. Case in point, Amy Curry, recent guest blogger for the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau.
However, the need to have good writing skills does not belong solely to students entering the public relations industry. It’s true, some students may never write another blog post after this class, but I am sure that no matter what their chosen career field, they will at some point write an email to a client, supervisor or colleague. They will at some point write a project bid, maybe an incident report or possibly a grant for funding. No matter the writing need, the practice acquired through various writing assignments while in college can strengthen this in-demand skill.
And in demand it is. The need to improve the writing skills of college graduates has been a topic of discussion for years and across all industries. The articles, Why Johnny can’t write, and why employers are mad, For $100K, you would at least think college grads could write and Students struggle for words are just a few examples of the many articles discussing employers’ concerns regarding the writing skills of new hires. If students doubt my pleas for them to strengthen their writing skills in order to make them more competitive job candidates, they should read a few of these articles. I’m not making this stuff up!
So stop complaining and just keep blogging…with clear, concise sentences, active verbs, proper spelling and good grammar. Strong writing skills will not only make you successful in class, it will make you successful in your chosen career.
In the meantime, pull up a chair and let’s talk.