New Horizons Part 2

I can only say I am completely overwhelmed and humbled by the many messages and comments I have received since I posted yesterday’s news. Thank you all for your very kind words and thoughts. Over the next few days I will respond to each and every one of you personally.

As for the future, I cannot predict what will happen with the School.

For myself, life will certainly continue in the warm knowledge that I have helped may of you, and knowing that all of you are in the process, or poised to, help move our professions forward. I’ll be doing some consulting in the short term and then exploring more long-term options. Additionally, I’ll continue to write more often here and edit the blog daily.

Again, thank you everyone for your wishes and messages.



New Horizons

Open letter to Students of the School of Journalism at IUPUI:

It is with regret that I report to you that I will be leaving IUPUI at the end of July to pursue other opportunities.

After learning from School administrators that I would no longer be Coordinator of the Public Relations sequence nor direct the public relations graduate degree program, I was offered a solution to leave the university early and I have accepted that solution.

I am very proud of what has been accomplished over the past seven years, including the solid development of a professional undergraduate public relations sequence of courses, the establishment of a university-wide minor in advertising, and the development and very successful launch of a Master of Arts in Public Relations degree program.

But most significantly, I am so very proud of all of our School of Journalism students and graduates. You all make up the heart of the School of Journalism at IUPUI. Your successes over the past years are significant, and I expect you to continue to have a major impact on the professions of public relations and journalism as you progress in your careers.

I will always be available to all of you to help in any way I can in forwarding your student and/or professional careers. Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook so we can keep in contact. Don’t ever hesitate to contact me if you need anything.

It has indeed been my pleasure to serve the students of IUPUI for the past seven years. They are among the most important years of my professional life. I thank all of you for those experiences.


Bob Dittmer

Let the Search Begin!

As we look forward to better weather this Spring — and after all this snow, do we ever! — it is also a time to look forward to the initial job search for many college graduates. As my previous post might suggest, the job market in PR seems to be opening up a bit. But, that doesn’t mean there’s a job for every graduate out there this Spring.

So, what will make the difference between those who do find that coveted job and those who continue to wait tables at O’Charleys? What makes the difference between success and more waiting?

After watching and advising and hiring for more than 30 years, I have some of the answers. I shared some of those with PR graduate students Saturday in a workshop on the Job Search. Here are some highlights:

  1. Treat the search like is was your actual job. It’s that serious and important.
  2. It’s essentially a PR campaign with you as the client and a job as the goal.
  3. Everything counts and must be done right. From business cards to an effective and compelling cover letter, from a powerful targeted resume and solid job interview skills, from solid research into people and companies to use of the new tools of the internet and social media, they all must be in the mix.
  4. Get into the 21st Century and actively use the social media tools that are available. Jobs are being posted on LinkedIn and Twitter. Are you there? Do you have a professional presence online?
  5. Network, network, network. This is the secret. Most will get their new job through who they know or get to know.

None of this is a big secret, yet year after year I see graduates who simply don’t do it all — and consequently fail. And, I see those who do a comprehensive and complete search succeed — even in a bad market.

If you are graduating this May (or August), start now. Build your campaign and execute it vigorously and with passion. And pay attention to the details. They all count. They all make a difference.

The Greatest Reward

A week ago I was privileged to participate in the greatest reward any university faculty member can enjoy. Commencement and graduation. At IUPUI we graduates nearly 6,000 students with degrees ranging from Associate’s to PhD’s.

But the greatest reward was our School of Journalism program following the larger university program. Here we recognized each and every student graduating in May, in the summer, and from last December. And, we had the largest graduating class in the history of the school — 26 years.

I was honored to MC the program, and as I looked out at the graduates, their families and their friends, I was emotionally reminded of the reason I stay in higher education.

For many of the faces I saw before me I had known for four years or more. I had seen them grow, mature, develop their passion for their profession. I saw a room full of families and friends whose pride in their graduate was manifest on their faces and in their joy.

And I also noted that these graduates are well prepared to assume their roles in our society. Believe not the naysayers. These graduates are ready to make the world a better place — whether it’s in journalism or public relations, they are ready and much more capable that I was at their age.

And we graduated six Master in Public Relations candidates. Our second graduating class. These, too, I had not only worked closely with, but had seen develop over their two to three years with us. And I know they too are ready to lead the way to a more effective and efficient future in public relations.

Once a year we on university faculties receive confirmation of our calling. We are often rejuvenated by this simple ceremony. I’m recharged and ready for another year.

And I am also charged up about what our graduates will accomplish in the coming years. I look forward to watching their progress and their accomplishments.

And make no mistake: we WILL be watching.

BTW: This is a relaunch of an old blog that lay dormant for some months.