Douglas Freeland and Virgil Scudder Roundtable Recap

By Allie Hitchcock.

Bloomington, Ind. — On Friday, October 31st, PRSSA members had the opportunity to meet two distinguished PR experts, Virgil Scudder and Douglas Freeland.

IU alums Virgil Scudder (left) and Douglas Freeland (right) share their own experiences in PR. Photo by Greyson Harbour.
IU alums Virgil Scudder (left) and Douglas Freeland (right) share their own experiences in PR. Photo by Greyson Harbour.

Scudder is currently president of Virgil Scudder & Associates. Freeland is Director of Customer Engagement Alliances at McDonald’s. Both men are IU graduates, and were back this weekend for a variety of events.

Scudder and Freeland both had ample advice to share with the group. Scudder started with the reminder that we as undergraduates preparing to enter the PR field need to listen before speaking.

Both agreed that good writing is the number one issue of public relations. Freeland noted that creativity and ideas keep information fresh.

Scudder also said that we should set goals, but be flexible in them. “If you’re not failing at anything, you’re not reaching enough,” he said.

Although PR is a fast-paced, constantly changing field, both men said to be aware of the line between being prompt to respond to situations and being opportunistic. We must maintain integrity and know when to walk away.

Scudder and Freeland recommended that resumes, at this point in our careers, never exceed one page. Interviews should be based around three to four point answers, and should never be performed without an agreed topic decided beforehand.

Freeland recommended not to think small when approaching internships. If there is ever a position open at a large company, take it, he said, because that is where we will find most resources.

Both men also recommended practicing public speaking and becoming well informed in the basics of investing. With a wide array of abilities, we will be best prepared to enter the PR world as professionals.

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