What my Professional Communications minor was like

Minors are a wonderful thing as they’re a way to gain knowledge about something new outside of your program major, and yet can be still super relevant and helpful for your major. Minors are optional and not something everybody chooses to pursue based on their course load, but luckily in the Business Management program, I was able to get a minor without taking any extra courses outside of my course requirements. I decided to do a Professional Communications minor as I thought the information would tie in nicely with my marketing major. However, communication is something that spreads across all university professions, and I really recommend the minor to anyone who is looking to become a better communicator.

Minors are composed of six courses from a specified minor table. All Business Management students have to take CMN 279, which is an introduction to professional communications, and it counts towards the minor. In addition to this course, I took five courses that were from the required professionally related course table for Business Management and also the Professional Communication minor table.

The five courses I chose were: 

Communications and Social Media 

As a marketing student, I often learn about social media, but I haven’t had a class as hands-on with social media like this one. I worked on a social media campaign with a group of students about youth voting, and I actually have a whole blog dedicated to how this campaign led to me being on the news. However, I also learned in general tips about social media strategy and theory and specific things such as meme culture and their role in social media.

 

Strategic Public Relations in ProCom

Public relations is something that gets brought up often in marketing classes, and so I found it was a unique experience to learn more about it throughout this course. I loved being able to discuss and analyze what was happening in the media currently, and what makes for a good public relations campaign. I also learned how to craft a public relations campaign when I worked with a group of students to create one for a fast-casual restaurant in Toronto.

 

Organizational Report Writing

I loved taking this class as I was able to enhance my writing skills by working on one large report the whole semester, and there was a lot of freedom on what we could do our report on. I personally have a love for entertainment and wanted to do my report focused on this industry. I took this course during the summer of 2020, and so I decided to focus my report on solutions for Universal to distribute films during the COVID-19 pandemic. I did secondary research on the film distribution industry and came up with three alternatives on how films could be distributed to enhance profitability. After this, I conducted primary research through a survey and determined what method would be best to recommend. I decided to suggest a new pricing strategy for video-on-demand movies and a strategy for drive-in movie theatres. This report was really rewarding to work on as I created it all on my own, and this is different to most business classes where long reports are group projects.

 

Corporate Communications

Corporate Communications was probably the course that challenged me the most in my minor as it got me outside of my comfort zone. As a marketing student, most of my written experience is focused on promotional and report writing, and so it was interesting to learn about writing in the corporate world for other purposes. The assignments were also a challenge as we often did them in class, which meant we would have three hours to draft a crisis message about a cybersecurity issue or a news release about a new event in Toronto. This class also allowed me to learn how to do a start-up style pitch with a small group!

 

Issues in Organizational Communication

I’ve gotten quite used to case studies as a business student, but this class was unique as we focused on solving organizational communication problems in cases throughout the semester. As opposed to learning about specific written communication skills as I did in most of the communication courses I took, I learned about how to solve communication problems in an organization and how to craft communication strategies. This class allowed me to do this in both individual and group case studies! 

If you’re interested in what minors Ryerson has to offer, make sure to check out the Ryerson minors calendar!

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