Texas Tech University

Converging News

June 2013

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In this issue of Converging News:

Q & A: Rachel Shackelford and her College Experience
By Samantha Park, photo by Ben Jarvis

What made you choose public relations as a major?

“Well I have to say I didn't choose public relations at first. I kind of dabbled around in a few other majors, but when I finally sat down with a public relations adviser, I could tell that this was the major for me. I really liked the curriculum and how invested the faculty were in me. They were trying to get me on the right path.”

Rachel Shackelford

Rachel Shackelford

How did you get involved with the College of Media & Communication when you declared public relations your major?

“I first joined Tech PR, and now I'm the vice president of member services for the organization. That was my foot in the door. Then I got more involved within the college from there. I am involved in the Dean's Student Council, RaiderComm, the student run PR firm, and now I am the social media coordinator for the OutPost, which is the social media lab within the college affiliated with RaiderComm.”

How have the College of Media & Communication faculty helped you throughout your college experience?

“The PR department has been very helpful. The first class I really enjoyed was Public Relations Strategies, and Dr. Shafer was my professor. That's when I really knew PR was the major for me. I also got to know Dr. Seltzer through Tech PR and he referred me to many more positions. That's who has invested in me and pushed me to get new positions within the college as well as outside internships.”

What internships have you had throughout your college career?

“I've had three internships. My first one was at the Red Raider Club, which is a nonprofit organization that gives and donates to the athletic programs. That was more phone calls and getting close with alumni and maintaining alumni relationships.

“My second internship was this past summer with Nomiss Communication, which is a Lubbock-based public relations consulting firm. I got to work one-on-one with the owner and I was really a partner rather than just an intern. I learned a lot about media relations and I got to go to press conferences, write news releases, and work hands-on with the media.

“Now I'm doing social media for the OutPost and also working in the Office of Communications & Marketing with Chris Cook. His position is more traditional and creating media lists and talking points where as the OutPost is more social media monitoring. I get to see the digital side and the traditional side.”

Explain how you are a mentor for RaiderComm.

“RaiderComm has three account managers who haven't taken all of the upper-level classes or done as many internships. I mentor them and help them develop structure when they lead their meetings so they feel more comfortable with their group and know how to structure it. I make sure everyone is on the same page to really develop the best PR campaign for the client.”

What are some of the campaigns that you have worked on at RaiderComm and with the social media lab?

“The first campaign we did for social media through the OutPost was the reaching audiences conference. This generated a lot of content, which we storified at the end and that was within the college for the IHIC account. It was really popular and we developed a very good storify on that.

“The second one we did about a week ago was for Relay for Life. I served as the ambassador trying to get people to tweet the hashtags we created. I ran around showing people how to create a post and showing them what hashtag to use.”

What advice would you give to incoming public relations majors?

“I would say get involved in at least one organization at first and if you like it to take on another one. Then you'll really see if that's the major for you. Find out if you want to do social media or if you want to do traditional media. Take on an organization early so you can really find out if the major is for you rather than waiting until your senior year.”

What are your plans after graduation?

“Right now I don't have any specific plans. I would like to work for a global PR firm or a corporation. It is still to be determined so we'll have to see for now.”


Center for Communication Research
video by Ben Jarvis and Blake Silverthorn


Hudaina Baig Presents Research at Texas Tech Undergraduate Research Conference
By Samantha Park, photos by David Vaughn

Senior public relations student Hudaina Baig presented her abstract, “Comparing portrayals of teen mothers and fathers on MTV's hit show '16 and Pregnant',” at the Texas Tech University Undergraduate Research Conference April 24.

Hudaina Baig

Hudaina Baig at the Undergraduate
Research Conference

Texas Tech's Undergraduate Research Conference is an annual, campus-wide event that promotes and supports undergraduate researchers. Students from Texas Tech and other universities have the opportunity to share their research findings with Texas Tech faculty, mentors, administrators and alumni.

Originally from Longview, Texas, Baig said she enjoyed discovering the correlations in her research and sharing those correlations with others.

“Outside the College of Media & Communication you get to see other people doing research and they get to see your research,” Baig said. “They see it differently than people in media and communication see it. It's interesting to be able to explain it to people.”

Baig was accepted as one of the 130 undergraduate students who presented their work at the 2013 Undergraduate Research Conference. Before this achievement, Baig expressed an interest in research and was directed by Coy Callison, Ph.D., to partake in research.

“I looked at our professors' research and I wanted to do something in more of a PR way, so I targeted the PR professors,” Baig said. “Dr. Callison told me to go to Dr. Shafer because she had good research, so I asked her what she was doing, and it was something very interesting to me.”

After considering different research options, Baig chose to partake in faculty member Autumn Shafer's research exploring trends from MTV's series, “16 and Pregnant.”

“I started with coding information,” Baig said. “We watched episodes of ‘16 and Pregnant' and then coded them to see if anything was changing between the teen moms and the teen dads. It was about if they were becoming more mature or if they were becoming immature.”

Hudaina Baig

Hudaina Baig presents her poster

Baig systematically examined four episodes of the series by conducting a content analysis of each episode. Throughout each episode, she coded for examples of teen parent maturity, work ethic, reliance on others, parenting knowledge and skills, positive and negative consequences, relationship dynamics between the teen parents, emotion, and future intention.

Graduating in December with a major in public relations, Baig said she enjoys the diversity of the major and likes the broad range of classes required.

“I like the major itself. I like the communication aspect of it. I like how you get a feel of everything in regards to media and communication,” Baig said. “In PR you get a feel of all the different majors and you can implement it when you go into the real world.”

Her campus involvement includes being an account manager for RaiderComm, secretary for Pi Delta Alpha, vice president for Association of Women in Communications, and an active member of Tech PR and Muslim Students Association. Baig said her involvement has been essential throughout her college experience.

“Being involved helps you in many different ways,” Baig said. “You can get an internship that way and actually get a feel of public relations work. Getting involved gets you real world experience and that's really beneficial.”


College of Media & Communication Promotional Video
video by Ben Jarvis and Blake Silverthorn




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