Think about a pat on the back, a thumbs up or a high-five. All seem so simple, yet they can mean so much to the recipient. Young public relations students are often overwhelmed by the vast amount of knowledge and experience they have yet to gain. They may lack self-confidence due to their inexperience, and without this confidence, it is unlikely that they will become engaged and active in the public relations community. It is the job of older public relations students to encourage these public relations newbies to get involved in the field. Using just a few simple phrases can launch the best and the brightest young students into action.
The first phrase that every public relations student should use is, “You can do it.” To the student doubting his or her ability to write a blog article, network with a professional, or create an eye-catching event poster, these words can mean everything. Often, students who have the talents necessary to perform a task will hold back due to self-doubt. Telling a student that they can do it shows that you believe in them and are confident in their abilities. Not only will this help a young student overcome insecurity, but it will also encourage the student to perform well in order to meet your expectations.
As a follow-up to “you can do it,” the next phrase that is necessary for uplifting younger students is “great job.” Receiving approval from someone you respect and admire is an incredible confidence boost. Similar to the coveted gold star you always wanted to receive in grade school, telling someone “great job” recognizes their accomplishments and work. When a student knows that his or her work is valued, he or she is more likely to contribute in the future.
The final addition to every leader’s vocabulary is “I appreciate you.” This phrase holds even more weight than the first two. Not only does it show that you recognize a student’s talents and believe in him or her, but the student’s contribution is also meaningful to you in some way. Knowing that their work is meaningful, important and utilized is the ultimate way to keep young students engaged in the field of public relations. They’ll continue to produce work and strive for excellence because they know it can be achieved.
“You can do it,” “good job” and “I appreciate you”—these three simple phrases are so easy to say, yet they can mean the world to the recipient. All leaders in public relations should add these to their daily vocabulary in order to uplift future leaders. You never know when your small encouragement can give the confidence boost needed for a student to achieve greatness.
-by Bethany Corne, PRSSA Executive Member