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WritingWriting has always been the foundation of public relations, supporting strategic thinking through various tactics.  These include news releases, editorials, pitches, white papers, speeches and the list goes on.

One can never get started too early in building that foundation.

Students at South Mountain High School, under the direction of former TV sports anchor Anne Montgomery, now a teacher and author, are getting some real-world writing experience.

In addition to producing Southwinds, the student news site, a group of aspiring journalists and writers have produced a slick, glossy 14-page program for the school’s mega-track meet, the Annual Richard Thompson Track & Field Classic, featuring 34 high school teams from around the state.  With Makayla Lambert, editor, and Elizabeth Ochoa, assistant editor, leading the way, the students handle all aspects of putting the publication together from start to finish.  It’s just one component of demonstrating their passion.

Journalism Field Trips

  • The students have attended media day for the Phoenix Suns and had the chance to talk with Scott Bordow, the Suns’ beat reporter for the Arizona Republic. He shared with them about how he works and what his job entails.
  • The students have visited the Arizona Republic and KPNX-TV to see how both print and broadcast news is produced.
  • The students have visited the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University to see what is available to college students with similar career aspirations.

Future Experience Opportunities

  • Among the things they are trying to put in place for the next school year are having students serve as the beat reporters for the Jaguars football, volleyball and basketball teams.
  • Another consideration is to have a live “sportscast” during the morning announcements, recapping recent games and previewing upcoming events.

It’s an excellent start to building that foundation, whether the students go on to work in the media, become PR professionals or choose another career path.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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