At 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 20, Wayne State PRSSA members and students in Professor Najor’s class met at Manoogian Hall to hear from public relations professional Ray Day. Day worked at Ford Motor Company for 28 years, and said that over the years, he has served in every major communications role there. He said his job varied so much, he feels like he’s had multiple careers in one company.
Day recently left Ford, and will be starting his new career as Chief of Communications Officer at IBM in Mid-December. During the presentation, Day educated students about the future of public relations, gave helpful advice, and provided his own definition regarding public relations.
Day started off by saying he usually calls public relations, communications; because that’s what public relations professionals do. Day says his vision of communications is to improve reputation among all target audiences. Reputation meaning, the sum of all stakeholders’ perception of a company. He says if a company has good performance, behavior, and public relations professionals, it will have a good reputation; which is very important.
In relation to this, Day says communications are constantly changing. Therefore, public relations professionals constantly have to improve their skills. He believes in five years, there will be an end to all written word. Day claims that written news releases will be obsolete and that all news in the future will be in the form of video with no sound. People want to be able to watch a video anytime, anywhere; so the future of videos will just have subtitles. He claims that this form of media is what the people want and it will also save money on production costs.
Last but not least, Day gave some helpful advice for future communications professionals. He listed about seven things they should do. He says to make sure you are passionate about public relations as a lifestyle, become an expert in at least one communication skill, be flexible and constantly willing to change, make strong storytelling and writing your hallmarks, never pay attention to your title, always practice positive leadership, and always have a plan ‘B’.
These are just some of the many topics Ray Day talked about during his presentation. It was a great opportunity for those attending and I’m sure many students, along with myself, are grateful to have the chance to learn from such a highly experienced and knowledgeable professional.
Jamie Bigelow is a junior majoring in Public Relations and minoring Broadcast Journalism at Wayne State University. She’s worked as a server at Buddy’s Pizza in Shelby Township for four years. She enjoys socializing with new people, reading about celebrities, and relaxing while watching Netflix. After graduation, she plans on working in the entertainment industry.