After spending years teaching at UCLA Extension and Pepperdine University, there are some key points PR people should know if they accept a part-time teaching position:

  1. Teaching is a labor of love.  Do not expect to get paid what you are worth in the real world.
  2. Don’t give a lot of written homework – it makes a heck of a lot more work for you. (Have them make a press kit – that keeps them busy through the semester.)
  3. Your students will love you because they find out what PR is really all about.  Those with years in academia cannot impart the same real life PR imperatives or experiences.
  4. Some students won’t pay any attention to you.  Don’t waste your time telling them to stop tweeting or texting.  Spend time with those who care.
  5. Do not expect that all programs are created equal.  You might have lesson plans way over their heads.  Try to get a reading in the first few classes of where juniors or seniors really are in the communications sequence.
  6. Expect great writers and terrible ones. The terrible ones will probably never make it in PR. Suggest extension courses for them to catch up.

Susan Tellem is a partner in Tellem Grody Public Relations, Inc. She taught PR and writing for many years and used the teaching pay to buy shampoo and popcorn.  Follow her on Twitter @susantellem.