SHSU: The State of Public Relations Efforts and Programs

Introduction

Public Relation refers to the process where a positive relationship is cultivated amongst individuals and entities through the application of media and other means of communication. It offers one of the most important tools for communication within learning and business institutions and also in the field of marketing. Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is identified as one of the institutions which are technologically oriented with most of its academic programs and various interactions between administration and students operated electronically through the internet. There is enough proof of heavy reliance on internet services and web-based communication links since it reduces costs and time. Such e-services have been utilized by the institution to provide integrated means where students can easily source important information from up-to-date e-libraries and at the same time interact with the outside community. SHSU offers its community the benefit of logging into their website and calling toll-free at the expense of the University administration. At the same time, students are allowed to configure their systems as per their course of study to enable easy follow-ups by their respective lecturers (DeSanto and Garner, 2001).

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Sam Houston State University prides itself in having a chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) whose mission is to assist the student community strives for excellence in the domains of leadership, professional preparation as well real-world experiences (DeSanto and Garner, 2001). The chapter incorporates a team of students from diverse academic backgrounds with the endeavor of enriching their education and future careers. The nature of the network adopted in this program is based on communication ethics, gaining experience as well as enhancing an adequate understanding of public relations. However, the management team of this program prefers holding their face-to-face meetings every week in the Dan Rather Communications Building.

The institution has enabled high maintenance standards which ensure that even meetings and other important events are conducted online. The idea has helped the university to save on time costs of organizing such face-to-face interactions. Such strategy has ensured reinforcement of personal relationships amongst the university community hence enabling quick reactions to contentious issues as well as the implementation of efficient solutions towards students’ needs and requirements. There is the benefit of receiving primary information from students by the administration and tutors which s essential for day to day running of the institution.

The institution has an immense ability to utilize available technological machinery for enhanced operations within the educational system. The institution provides real-time services within its normal operations. SHSU utilizes direct communication links which enables efficiency in retrieving student information hence providing efficient means of monitoring student progress within the institution. Internal administration is capable of accessing vital information on students’ educational capabilities, health as well as the level of discipline.

The community also applies the use of cell phones in making direct calls hence ensuring a direct link between students and staff. All of the institution’s relation strategies revolve around the provision of efficient internet services. Bureaucracy as applied within such institutional set-up defines various institutional makeup as well as appropriate conduct of various departments within Sam Houston State University (SHSU). In an institutional bureaucratic system there needs to be a separation of tasks, utilization of professional qualifications, well defined institutional arrangement capable of portraying a clear chain of command and with each administrative position having its unique obligations.

The description of how this particular learning community can be strengthened by targeted public relations efforts.

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The varied lifestyles and priorities today require some level of freedom and convenience within learning institutions. Such conveniences can be delivered to Sam Houston State University (SHSU) through the use of modern ICT gadgets. This is because of the exceptional benefits and rewards offered through the adoption of ICT which aids in the fulfillment of educational dreams. However, professionals within the field of technology warn that there is a need for students to be cautious when using such devices. This is because most of the devices are addictive and can create an imbalance in concentration between the studied and personal life of a student (Samsup, et. al., 2004).

Furthermore, fraud and identity theft are becoming a major challenge to combat in the usage of the internet is at times required to secure confidential information. What is more, the challenge of securing confidential information has been intensified by the massive quantity of confidential information that needs to be secured while criminals are also coming up with more sophisticated ways of getting the guarded data. Moreover, this process is costly for such institutions both financially and morally as their students lose faith in them whenever they fall prey to fraudsters and hackers. At the same time, the learning community can be strengthened through the implementation of a program capable of meeting the state of Texas’ high standards for school administrators, and also national standards for programs used in preparing educators hence fulfilling the diverse and unique needs of all students irrespective of their cultural backgrounds. Such standards are met through the incorporation of educational leadership program which entails the use of reflection as the appropriate channel utilized in assessing students’ learning capabilities (Samsup, et. al., 2004).

Research on public relations provided by various groups of educationists such as sociologists and counseling educators reveals various considerations which should be met to achieve harmony within institutions of learning. They discovered several recurring themes usually used in determining factors contributing to the nature of tutor-student commitment. Such themes include in-school correlates such as quality of teaching and out-of-school correlates such as parent participation as well as the level of the student movement. Such factors determine to a large extent the academic performance within such institutions as Sam Houston State University (SHSU). The PR can also be strengthened through a student-centered approach to learning which has a great impact on literacy levels and performance. Availability of external resources such as quality teaching affects students’ internal resources such as level of self-concept and esteem.

Strategies and goals for improving internal and external communication at the school

In the analysis of Sam Houston State University (SHSU), culture plays an important role in determining the nature of communication amongst students and staff. Public relations are utilized within lecture halls and are considered as part of a common belief system defined through existing quality communication systems. Internal communication within the school can be improved by involving students in thorough training on communication skills which enables them to develop emotional and spiritual intelligence considered as the primary source of motivation within organizations, institutions, and other workplaces (Ross, 2004). There exist several student organizations within the university which is a reflection of the diversity of cultures from different backgrounds.

The learning environment within SHSU can well be described through effective and informative interactions existing between administrators, tutors, and students. At the same time, the institution enjoys reaching fellowship with the surrounding community through the provision of services aimed at enriching society.

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Such services are provided by both tutors and students as part of extra-curriculum activities. The activities also involve recreational sports and outings. Such outdoor recreation activities provide excellent channels for interaction amongst students (Gallagher, et al., 2012).

In some institutions, it is always acknowledged the difficulties in separating politics from governance. But in the case of SHSU, the two should be considered as separate entities hence allowing functioning outside each other to improve relations both inside and outside the institution. The separation of roles leads towards certain achievements such as the execution of bureaucracy in a methodological way. In the meantime, attention should be drawn towards the planning of administrative agencies capable of creating, embracing as well as executing necessary guidelines. Appropriate systems should be created with the capability of unearthing the best practices of governance, discovering the most effective means of creating labor procedures, and defining the institutional composition. The idea of the creation of labor procedures is mostly associated with Fredrick W. Taylor (1919) who had done several trials to conclude on how labor should be organized. The separation of duties is vital with top administrators tasked with defining roles and their subordinates mandated to respond to the roles as discharged. There should be a shift in focus from all procedures entailed in achieving desired outcomes to other essential factors. There should also be elaborate regulations defining channels of communication, power, and ensuring execution of responsibilities (Pabich, 2003).

Conclusion

Sam Houston State University utilizes its public relations in the provision of various services to all bonafide students and administrators. This can be portrayed through the provision of a peaceful entertaining environment, capable of allowing students to enjoy quality friendship. Such provisions would make the campus be identified with qualities such as fun-loving, service-minded, and spirited capabilities (Samsup, et. al., 2004).

References

DeSanto, B, J., & Garner, R, B. (2001). Strength in diversity: The place of public relations in higher education institutions. In R. L. Heath (Ed.), Handbook of public relations (pp. 543-550). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gallagher, D., Bagin, D., & Moore, E. (2012). School and community relations. Boston, MA: Pearson

Pabich, I. (2003). Public Relations: An instrument of co-operation linking the private sector and higher education institutions. Higher Education in Europe, 4, 519-522.

Ross, J. (2004). Finders Keepers, users reapers: Campus communicators can use external research as a context for institution messages. Currents, 30 (1): 30-32.

Samsup, L., Hon, L., & Brunner, R. (2004). Organization-public relationships: Measurement validation in a university setting. Journal of Communication Management, 9, 14-28.

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