Victoria Rooney


         It is all Lights, Camera, and Action today, as I take you along on my MCVA journey here at Pace. I am a Freshman at Pace, and just last year I was asking the same questions that High School Seniors ask: which school has the best classes for what I want? Am I going to be sitting bored in classes? Is the food in the dining hall really THAT good? We have all been here and I found my home in the MCVA Department! You are probably wondering what MCVA means? It is the Media Communications and Visual Arts Department. Majors for Film, Journalism, Public Relations, Communications, and even Sports Media are all here. Which one was the perfect study for me? This question constantly stuck with me and after research, I knew Pace had the perfect Public Relations Department. Why you ask, the answers will surprise you……

How did MCVA Define PR?


Most times when I say my major is Public Relations, I receive looks of blankness and confusion, mainly from my dad, but that is ok. The looks of confusion stem from not exactly knowing what it consists of, as many students switch to this major after learning more about it. In my first PR class PR I took at Pace, Intro to, PR, my Professor, Jennifer Magas, really helped us develop our definition of PR. We learned The Public Relations Society of America says, “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”


Hearing this definition for the first time in my Intro Class had me a little confused, but by being interactive and going around campus asking other students what PR is, we formed our definition. Basically, I am the bridge between you, the public, and organizations, people, products, etc. I figure out the public and what they want to know at the time, what they are favoring right now, etc. and take that message to a client.

What do I learn about PR From MCVA Classes?

The types of tools used in PR may surprise you, and Pace MCVA has a lot of classes that will help introduce you to many tools and make you more marketable for your career.


Crisis communications, which although sounds boring, actually involves scandals. Yes, scandals can be entertaining for the public, but some can be unwanted and damage a reputation. Pace MCVA actually offers a class called, Crisis Communication, which will introduce you to the world of crisis and how best to use PR for them. Unlike many boring lectures in other schools, this class is hands on and interactive. Professors at Pace MCVA guide you, which is why learning was easy for me, as I am never on my own. Crisis communications is seen many times, probably without you even recognizing it. A fun example would be if you are doing PR for Disney, a family and kid company, and one of your top stars gets a DUI. That’s not very family friendly, now is it? In this class, you will be given cases, one maybe like this example, and you must work with your team to analyze the public to figure out the best course of action.


Another part of PR is event planning, which always shocks many. An event planning class called, Event Planning for PR, is offered for PR in MCVA. This class, like many at Pace MCVA, is hands on and you work with a group to promote and plan many events and parties for your client. It’s all up to you, and Pace gives you the freedom to work on what people would like at the party, a theme, and how to best capture you client through this event. We see this all the time when Youtubers go to a launch party for a brand. Mostly they come back saying there was cool food at the party and they got all these goodies, which were all thought of by the PR Team.


Social Media is a big part of PR, as it is a great way to interact with the public.  Many of us can spend hours on social media, so can you imagine it being someone’s job? Pace MCVA has a class called Writing for the Electronic Media, which helps to show how to write for social media through a PR and Journalism prospective. Unlike other schools who separate majors and keep them confined, in the MCVA Department we are a family, and all majors work together to help to give perspectives and interactions that can benefit your career. For public relations, I am constantly working with journalists, so taking a class that shows me their perspective too can help me be better at my job. Social Media is much more than watching funny videos, it is figuring out what got a lot of responses from the public and what are the trends happening now.

Customize your MCVA?

PR can be used in many fields, and Pace MCVA taught me that the opportunities are endless. The bigger question is, HOW DO I MAKE THIS CAREER ONE I WANT TO GET UP FOR EVERYDAY? The answer is simple, Pace MCVA classes lets you customize your PR.


For me personally, I was a professional actress since I was 8 years old. Any commercial or show audition I went on, the publicist was always in the room. It was there job to figure out with casting and the director, how to promote the show’s cast. From these experiences, I grew to not just love acting, but entertainment PR. From the Broadway shows we watch, to celebrities we love, they all have a PR team.


        Entertainment PR is what I want to pursue, and Pace MCVA makes that possible. This department has a whole class dedicated to PR for Celebrities called, Celebrity Public Relations. This class is interactive and teaches you how to manage your celebrities’ image. From the heartthrob star we love to the bad boy celebrity that we follow; these images are kept up by PR.


If entertainment is not for you, don’t sweat it, classes like Crisis Communications, Intro to PR, and many other MCVA public relation classes look at a variety of PR cases. Once in Intro to PR, my team had to analyze an NFL scandal and figure out how it could have been handled differently. Through background, videos, and our professor’s guidance, we made our case and learned about one of the many types of PR, Sports PR.


Public Relations is a communications study, and Pace MCVA has helped me to develop tools I can take on with me to a career that I choose. From Celebrities to Sports, there will always be scandals and an event to promote. Now, I do not have to worry about how to handle them, as I handled many in class because my classes allowed me to be in the driver’s seat and have control. I have the freedom to choose where I want to steer my PR Career, and through specialized classes, I can learn the intricate skills needed to promote the next academy award winner. There are endless PR categories and tools to learn here at MCVA. Now it is time for you to create you PR Path, What’s your story?