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Student showcased in cover story for national trade publication

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Blessing Amoege Emeghara, a senior in the College of Communication'sDepartment of Public Relations, was recently published in PRWeek's Career Guide 2012 for a story on the next generation of incoming industry professionals. The 54-page guide is an annual supplement for subscribers distributed with the September issue.

In a portion of the article cited below, Emeghara said the public relations industry is important because of the challenging blueprints and tactics involved.

"PR pros are the masterminds behind the success stories of many organizations," said Emeghara, a native of Nigeria who moved to the U.S. as a 7-year-old. "Not only are they able to strategically find the good in every situation, they can also take an individual or company from average to extraordinary."

The senior added that her source of inspiration is Terry Hemeyer, an executive counsel at Pierpont and lecturer in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at The University of Texas at Austin.

"He has worked in every sector, including corporate, agency, nonprofit and government," said Emeghara, who plans to graduate this spring. "His genuine passion for PR made me fall in love with it."

Also president and founder of Real Role Models, which works with at-risk youth in Austin, Emeghara said the profession should be approached with clarity of message but with the knowledge necessary to make important decisions.

"PR pros should keep it simple and not overcomplicate things," said Emeghara.

The 19-year-old included that it's important to learn from one's mistakes and cited Apple and Coca-Cola as companies she admires that are excellent in the field of public relations.

"If you're going to fail, fail fast. As PR professionals, we must be able to figure out when things are going wrong and shift direction quickly," said Emeghara. "(Apple and Coca-Cola) have mastered the ability to communicate effectively to their consumers. They have also mastered the use of social media to accentuate their great global and community impact."

In a separate interview with the College of Communication, Emeghara expressed what motivated her to pursue public relations as a major.

"Public Relations is one of the most confusing practices I have ever encountered, and I love it!" said Emeghara. "No-one is ever able to define it in just one sentence, because there are so many facets to it. I knew, going into the major, that I could enter virtually any field and be at least competent with the skills I learn as a PR major. It is an exciting, challenging and rewarding practice."

Firms she said excel in public relations include industry mainstays Edlman and Ruder Finn but Emeghara added that locally successful agencies that thrive on small and big budgets such as Dave Manzer, Jam PR and POM PR prove their creativity by being successful with less.

She also credited her success to the faculty at UT and added that keeping an upbeat attitude is essential.

"If you think positive, positive things will happen to you and if you think negative, negative things will happen to you," said Emeghara. "UT Austin for me was a humbling experience, and I learned to be optimistic and enjoy life for what it is."

Upon graduation, Emeghara plans to enter the Teach for America program, work in media or work in a public relations firm specializing in nonprofits.

Marc Speir
Senior Content Producer