Being the rather indecisive person that I am, it came as no shock that I hadn’t the slightest idea of what I wanted to study coming into college. So naturally, I took the easy road, and like so many other freshman, enrolled myself as an undeclared. During my first year at Temple I took the typical GenEd classes, sprinkled in with some advertising and education classes, hoping that I would find my niche. Upon completing my freshman year, I thought I had a better understanding of what I wanted to do with my life; I had no idea.
After an untypical chain of events occurred over the next year, including transferring out of the university only to find myself re-enrolling at Temple the following year, I finally had some guidance in my life. This guidance came during Summer 2010, as I was perusing the Temple website looking for perspective majors. There are only so many of those personality strength tests you can take before you finally have to stop and ask yourself: What do I want to do? Surprisingly enough, once the communications light was shed on me, I was hooked. I wanted to study strategic communication. I knew that if done effectively, strategic communication is the basis of all human interaction.
Unlike other majors in the university, strategic communication teaches you how to express your needs and desires in a way that gets others to stop what they’re doing, and listen to what you’re saying. Oppositely, it promotes attentive listening so you can comprehend and understand exactly what messages are being relayed. Without effective two-way communication, nothing would ever get accomplished in the world. Strategic communication is ever-present in our daily routines, though we may not even realize it. It is what separates us from other species, what drives production; it is the basis of all human interaction.
Extraordinary communicators can change the world. If you can talk the talk, you better believe people will be on your side, listening to what you have to say. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Ronald Reagan; all phenomenal masters of communication who let their words and rhetoric bring about change. It is no secret as to why they had so many supporters. People believed in the messages they were delivering. Whether all of these messages were actually truthful and sincere is a whole different matter. The point is this: their words were empowering.
I could not be happier knowing that I will be graduating this spring with a degree in strategic communication. Learning how to become an effective communicator in this fast-pace world, where messages often get lost or convoluted, is a skill that is uncompromising to any other.
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Steve Jacobs.