PResident who?


Who is this guy?

Who is this guy?

When shown pictures of presidents, my students can identify John F. Kennedy but they stumble over Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.  They recognize the Eiffel Tower but don’t know the Brooklyn Bridge. They know who “The King of Pop” was but never heard of “The Great Bambino.”  Tina Fey is a familiar face but Elizabeth Taylor is a total stranger.

My students look forward to my 12 trivia questions at the start of each class.  They’re common knowledge questions on topics ranging from popular acronyms to foreign alphabets.  Students are challenged to remember facts they learned in elementary school (“Name the three primary colors” or “How many inches in a yard?”), and many of them are first seeing what Walt Disney or Eleanor Roosevelt looked like.

The point of this classroom exercise is to emphasize the importance of general knowledge.  PR professionals and communicators who create content for public consumption must include historical, cultural and current news references if they hope to reach their audiences effectively.  I’m happy when my students get at least half the answers right, but it worries me when they get some of the more “obvious” ones wrong.

I believe everyone should know the White House’s address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, or the Corleones are the central characters in “The Godfather,” or that a 20-year old should be able to name all four Beatles.  It’s sad to me that my students can instantly identify Justin Beiber but have so much trouble with the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman.  They know Kim and Kanye are engaged but can’t tell you what happened on July 4, 1776.

Maybe I’m wrong to assume what’s “obvious.” I understand completely that our knowledge is mostly based within the period in which we grew up and now live.  But it seems most of us spend too much time in our information and entertainment comfort zone and we don’t explore.  I believe this puts future PR professionals at a disadvantage.  So read newspapers.  Watch classic movies.  Sample trendy TV shows.  Visit a museum.  Because intellectual curiosity matters.  Your thoughts?

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47 responses

  1. First I want to say that I like this article so much. I remembered the first time I did trivia on your class. As a foreign student, I couldn’t know many answers to your quiz. Also, it made me feel that it is necessary for a PR practitioner to know trivia questions. When we do a PR case, we need to know all the information and background of the case. The more knowledge you have, the better you can manage a PR case. Certainly, since people in different period have different “obvious” trivia, as a PR practitioner, however, we should and must know as more as possible. We may contact clients in different age, we may work for companies in different area, so we shouldn’t focus only on current events. Nowadays, information update even every second, as PR practitioners, who work for public and work with media, we should keep in touch with the speed of update.

  2. LOVED reading this. I 100% completely agree. And for the record: knew all the things you mentioned here, so I guess I’m doing ok.

  3. Christina Sewell | Reply

    I’m sort of at a stand still. I do believe that today’s generation isn’t in tune with the past. However, many older individuals when asked, who is Taylor Swift, can’t answer the question. Our generations have been segregated rather than integrated. Many of us as humans are stuck in our own ways. How many times have you heard, “you kids today . . . ” or, “back in my day ?” We should try to be more inclusive and strive to educate one another.

  4. I totally agree that our generation doesn’t recognize important historical figures, but instead we recognize and may attention to celebrities or athletes because that’s who we care more about. If our generation started to read more newspapers and new magazines rather than celebrity gossip or sports magazines then this probably could be avoided. I think the trivia questions are an excellent way to start off every class and helps students become more aware of what’s going on in the world. Maybe if people at least recognized a picture if not the name of an important historical person there would be less of a problem.

  5. Avalon Bohunicky | Reply

    I believe that the trivia questions at the beginning for each class are a great exercise when it comes to teaching students how crucial it is to know important icons and events in our history, as well as today. Anyone who wants a future in Public Relations should have knowledge of past and current history. If a public relations practitioner was uninformed of past events or figures in front a client, it comes across as them being unprofessional and uncultured. Current events are not the articles that one may read on TMZ. All public relations practitioners should be aware of global, political and social issues of today and the past in order to fulfill the requirements of the position.

  6. I absolutely agree with everything you said. It is quite important to stay curios and to keep expanding our intellectual horizons. Oscar Wilde once said: “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” So stay thirsty my friends…for knowledge.

  7. Alexandria Alicea | Reply

    Trivia is most definitely the highlight of my day! I look forward to testing myself as well as learning something new. However, it does concern me sometimes as to how often I’m left dumb found over an answer. Typically I try and keep up to date with pop culture and informed with the latest news, but I never realized how little attention I pay to the years past. I can name all four Beatles so I’m not that far out of touch! It’s fascinating all the key components that make up a great reporter and common knowledge is so often overlooked. By participating in trivia each week, so far I’ve learned about languages that read right to left, who created the cure for polio and and how to correctly use the term “faux pas.” I think its incredibly important for people of our generation to become more aware of past events and important figures. As always stated, history repeats itself; our job is to learn and understand more about the past so we can better understand our future.

  8. I think that knowledge of famous figures, celebrities and dates are all relative not to the time period we grew up in, but to our interests. For a person interested in fashion, recognizing Coco Chanel or Michael Kors would be fairly easy, while someone who is more concerned about Japanese comics may not have that knowledge. One thing that the majority of people in my generation have in common is our constant use and access to the internet. This is why despite our interests, up and coming PR profesionals should have some kind of knowledge about things outside of their interests since we are constantly within reach of endless amounts of information via the internet. From movie summaries, to biographies, and myth busting websites like Snopes.com, there is always information available to us to help us become more knowledgeable about history, pop culture, and more.

  9. All of this is very true. We’re currently in the midst of some genre of a general knowledge famine. A lot of that can be attributed to the fact that a lot of our information is segmented. People read, watch and listen to whatever they want. When I was a kid for awhile I didn’t have my own television which meant a lot of Dirty Harry and Bette Davis movies and episodes of City Confidential. Not the typical fare for an eight year old, but the point is it helped a lot with general knowledge. I think just watching or reading something everyday that you wouldn’t normally glance at can prove quite useful for bulking up the knowledge stockpile.

  10. look forward to you trivia every class it reminds me of this app called quizup, where you can challenge your facebook friends or others around the world. You can test your knowledge in a series of 393 topics, categories like math, science, geography, entertainment, sports, music, arts, history and many more. My friends and I utilize this app daily; I push myself to rank high even through the process of losing you are still learning new information in different topics. I couldn’t agree more I think as PR practitioner you ought to have general knowledge in all fields or be eager to learn fast.

  11. The times are shifting. What once was common knowledge is now a “quick Google search” or a “why does it even matter”. Now more than ever do we multiple outlets at our disposal to remain informed and informed correctly. The extant to which the public use this information is where the issue lay. Knowledge is what we do with the information we come across. If we are merely just scanning over this information we are not becoming knowledgeable.

  12. My favorite thing about your trivia quizzes is that you are presenting the information in order for us to benefit. It’s not meant to be a “you didn’t know THIS, how dare you!” but rather more of a learning experience. It’s startling sometimes to see important facts ignored, but there’s no point shaming people about it. It’s the chance to show them something new. It’s possible that a number of students went home and watched the original Phantom of the Opera after the movie monster quiz, or that they started listening to the Beatles on Spotify in their room. That’s fantastic. Trivia is really fun when it’s treated as an opportunity for growth, not at as a way to see who knows most. No one should ever be ashamed of learning! :)

  13. Like you said in the your post, students love your trivia. It is such a great and exciting activity that is not only fun to do but also increases our knowledge. There are so many new things I’ve learned since having played from day 1. It is extremely important for students, especially college students, to have some sort of knowledge on past events. The issue with that is that today, not many people are caught up with current events. I think it is very important that we find time and show interest in what has happened in the future and what is currently going on. As a PR person, it is important to know what is going on and to be able to report and explore new and old events.

  14. These posts clearly indicate the quest for general knowledge is a desirable, and even necessary, pursuit. In the PR field in particular, academic curriculum is not enough to develop the creativity and cleverness required to become a good communicator. Acquiring a broad knowledge base that includes historical, cultural and current news references will make a difference in the content and messages a good writer can deliver.
    It seems obvious that soaking in general knowledge is a “must do” item on my things to do list. Forming a habit of going through news websites, newspapers, magazines, or just about anything in sight that expands beyond my routine domains will be my quest for 2014. Besides, there are few things in life that can be habit forming, harmless, useful, and fun at the same time.

  15. “Intellectual curiosity matters.” This is very important to remember. Not just limited to those in the public relations field, but for everyone. Without intellectual curiosity, we would never push ourselves to learn more about the world around us and the things we don’t know. One of my teachers in high school once told us that, “it’s better to know a little about everything than to know a lot about one thing.” It’s an interesting concept to consider. Sure, it’d be awesome to be an expert on one subject but if that’s all you know, is it really that beneficial? If you can’t relate to things other than that, it doesn’t help you out that much. We should always want to learn more, whether it’s about current events, historical events, or brushing up on the general knowledge that we should know.

  16. Francesco Vivacqua | Reply

    I agree with this article. Professor Morosoff’s trivia game is pretty refreshing, because it shows me how limited my knowledge can be. It also shows me what area of knowledge I need to improve. During one trivia game I was called on in class to answer the question. It was a Picture of three movie stars from the 40s (i.e. Judy Garland, James Stewart, and Humphrey Bogart). I had one of the answers written down, Judy Garland. I was not sure if I was correct, because I have only seen the Wizard of Oz in black and white and the picture of Garland in the trivia game was in color. It being in color threw me off, and I was not sure if I was correct. Because I was only about 60% sure I was correct, I refused to answer the question for fear of looking dumb. It is exactly this fear of looking dumb that makes me realize that this is knowledge that I should know. Although I knew the names of Humphrey Bogart and James Stewart, I could not identify them in those pictures. Not being able to associate the names with there faces left me embarrassed, because I like to pride myself in knowing general knowledge. After that day I realized that I have seen only 3 movies in my lifetime that were filmed prior to 1960.

    Having basic knowledge is not just important for people in PR, but for an array of different jobs. General knowledge is important for lawyers, politicians, teachers, and a lot of office jobs. These are just few of the types of jobs where general knowledge can be a useful asset. It is important to be knowledgable, because you never know when it could be useful. Although today’s generation is somewhat limited in general knowledge, it is not to late for hope when there are people like Professor Morosoff stressing the importance of general knowledge.

  17. Every time I walk into class I immediately take out a blank piece of paper and prepare myself for Morosoff’s trivia game. I always look forward to learning more about other subjects. It shows how much we understand different types of subjects. I will admit there have been times where I hardly know any of the questions that Morosoff puts in front of us but I’m willing to take in and learn more about it. However it is important that we are aware on what’s going on in the present. I enjoy pop culture and hopefully I can work in the entertainment business because its what I really enjoy. While it is very important to know a lot of historical figures and issues, I think its just as important to know about our current culture because there is still a lot things we can learn from it.

  18. I really LOVE this post – mostly because I’m speaking on the part of the 20 year old. It frustrates me to no end that peers don’t know who the Beatles ARE (not WERE) and that Kim and Kanye are always a topic of conversation. I personally cannot relate with these people, not because of a lack of general knowledge, but rather because there is no appreciation for QUALITY anymore.

    I find that in mainstream society, there are very few substantial things (i.e. – Music, Clothing, Food, Movies, etc). Call me a cynic, but there is no reason the Kardashians or the cast of Jersey Shore are as popular and successful as they are, they are good-for-nothing, talent-lacking, uneducated fools. Records (I will refrain from naming particular artists) that are a compilation of voice enhanced and engineered sounds are going multi-platinum; food that is loaded with chemicals, preservatives, and GMO’s, which do not even constitute as REAL food consumes 98% of our supermarkets, and a movie with a flat plot line and no character development is the talk of the town and being nominated for every award — why?

    I blame our school system. Our school system doesn’t help people learn general knowledge, it inundates you with useless information. For example, after elementary and middle school math, you need another four years of mandatory math, after you learn to multiply, add, subtract and divide. Unless you’re going to be an actuary or a math teacher, you shouldn’t be forced to sit through a class on practicing matrices and solving problems with DeMorgan’s Laws, because in the real world, you don’t use matrices to balance checkbooks. Instead, there should be a math THEORY class — what is the purpose of DeMorgan’s Laws? NOT let’s spend three weeks of the semester learning how to solve a problem using DeMorgan’s Laws. No, you should learn ABOUT the laws, why they came to be and what they are useful for. That’s how you can apply it to general knowledge, and that’s how students would get the most out of their education. If the concept of DeMorgan’s laws were constantly reemphasized, maybe I would have remembered them more and been able to make the connection somewhere down the line…

    My point is, our school system should reemphasize general knowledge and offer more concept and theory classes. You don’t need to know how to use DeMorgan’s Laws. You just need to know what they are there for, who uses them and why.

    Sorry for ranting.

  19. I find the timeliness of pop culture knowledge to be relative, as when I was growing up my father insisted that old school salsa (1930’s-50’s) was the most relevant, time-encompassing music of the entire 20th century. And in my particular culture this was partly true – long before white middle class Millennials began their trend of listening to their parent’s music, Hispanic youth ALWAYS included the older genres of salsa, merengue, cumbia, etc., along with whatever urban, techno or rock beat they listened to with their friends. The point of this tirade is that pop culture can be subjective to certain publics, and while some topics are definitely mainstream enough to be common knowledge others may not be – especially older subjects. If anyone listened to the Beatles in my old neighborhood, they would never have admitted it.

  20. My biggest pet peeve with an attack on our generations knowledge (not that this was an attack by any means) is the devaluing of current popular culture knowledge. Yes, it is important if not crucial for myself and my peers to be educated about historical facts or popular culture from the past, but the happenings of today are just as important. I consider myself a Pop Culture Pro, if you will. I can match movies to actors, pair famous siblings and spouses, and name that old TV show that the one guy from your favorite movie used to be on. I pride myself on my popular culture knowledge. Granted, I always know what came before. Being a current student in Morosoff’s class, I can say that on each of the quizzes we’ve taken so far I’ve never missed more than half of the answers. I know Elizabeth Taylor from Katharine Hepburn. I did relatively well on the quiz that asked about prime ministers and presidents. I’m (what I would consider) averagely educated. I see the obvious value in history and important facts, but I think it would be gross oversight to devalue the importance of current pop culture knowledge.

  21. I have always disliked the idea that most of my generation is solely focused on useless entertainment facts then historical and cultural ones. I personally could care less about current “stars” and don’t even consider following them on twitter. I care more about things that have made an important and beneficial change in the world. More people watch reality TV then read a good book. I fit into the other category, I enjoy a classic novel and reading Ulysses didn’t annoy me. There is a time where you can indulge in useless celebrity gossip but should mostly stay away from it. It is just going to get worse as time progresses and people will only care about the junk filling up our media. There should be more efforts set forth to teach about the important facts of life, and not the useless ones.

  22. It is important for any young person today in any profession to have knowledge on the past and the present. Being a future PR practitioner, it is even more important. The trivia at the start of each class is exciting and I actually surprise myself. I know a lot of answers just from growing up with a father that is a trivia genius and would always keep us involved in the important past. I am also a victim to gossip and celebrity news today. I find it’s important to find a happy medium. Broadening your knowledge in all aspects is extremely important for any career, especially PR.

  23. I think it’s pretty interesting to see in each class what is considered “common knowledge” that everyone should know, and what actually is common knowledge that the majority of us do really know. In some cases, it comes down to a generational lack of exposure to certain fields of knowledge, and in other cases, it is sometimes our fault for not being more curious and receptive. All in all, I think the most important lesson to take from any of this is that no matter what level someone is at right now in their overall knowledge, it’s important to always keep an open mind and be open to learning about new things. In PR, it is important to have a broad understanding of a lot of things, but as we’ve talked about, it’s impossible to know everything, and the next best thing is a willingness to research and learn whenever possible.

    On a side note, the show How I Met Your Mother once joked in an episode that everybody has a “gap” in their knowledge–something they should know by adulthood that is very obvious to everyone else, but that they themselves never learned. I feel like trivia in class sometimes confirms that theory, and it can be pretty funny.

  24. It is important for any PR professional to have an interest in current events and pop culture. How can you inform a public without any knowledge about pop culture? It’s basically like shooting in the dark and expecting to hit the target? Today, it has become increasingly difficult for individuals to step outside of their comfort zone and research other topics because the Internet, social media, and media outlets have allowed individuals to niche down the content they are exposed to. If you have a newspaper and you are interested in the business section you simply would go to the business section and disregard all the other information that is offer in a paper. PR practitioners must step outside of their usual comfort zones and expose themselves to other content that can inspire new ideas for projects and PR initiatives. Thanks for this post, it a reminder to force myself to read and watch things that I wouldn’t usually choose.

  25. I agree, that intellectual curiosity matters. A PR professional should definitely have a wide horizon, to know various things from different spheres of activities and professions. That is especially true if a PR person works in an agency, so he has to deal with all kinds of businesses. In addition to reading newspapers, watching classic movies, etc., I would also add travelling. This is a tremendous way to cognize the world. Besides the valuable experience, travelling gives a unique opportunity to review common things from different perspectives.

  26. I feel it it not just important to have a basic knowledge of current events, history and pop culture in the PR field, but in life as well. It is meaningful for us as people to know some of the basics. I love doing the trivia before class. It shocks me sometimes how many I either know because of what my family has pushed upon me, or those I get wrong because I’ve either heard of it or just haven’t seen something. I have been lucky enough to come from a family that pushes old pop culture, growing up on shows such as The Odd Couple, The Honeymooners, The Brady Bunch and even The Flintstones. I feel the problem with our generation is the lack of knowledge for history. Many just care about what they see for a few minutes on twitter, but do not understand the historical meaning of a certain event. We would not know Justin Beiber without The Beatles, or why America is so diverse without Ellis Island and other historical events. Current events are important. I’ll admit, when it comes to politics and news, the last year or so I have not stayed on top of things. But without learning and trying to remember history, or even general knowledge, these events would not have the same meaning when comprehending it. Everything has had an influence one way or another. I agree, explore past generations, and stay up to date on current events. Because it can help you connect with those before you, and make you well rounded.

  27. I agree with this article because most people of the younger generation only know what is common to them, They (including me) don’t always know “common” knowledge or historical facts. We should be reading and continuing to learn about people and situations that have made an impact on our culture, and also read to learn about things that are happening now. While being informed on pop culture is important, knowing basic facts and current events should be a must of PR professionals and everyone else.

  28. Of course I agree with this post! Being a student in Professor Morosoff’s class for the second semester in a row, I love trivia. I would say that the majority of his students look forward to it every week at the start of class. Every week is a different topic, so a broad range of topics are covered from the beginning to the end of the semester. As Pr professionals, we must be as informed as possible about current events as well as information and events from the past. I am guilty of not knowing about as much from past events, and even current events, as I should. I did not realize it all that much until I sat down in my first graduate class. This was not stressed my in undergraduate years of college. It is something I am working on hard because it is essential to be as aware and as informed as you possibly can, considering you can never know to much about anything. There is ALWAYS more to learn.

  29. Personally, I love doing trivia at the beginning of class. I think it’s important to be aware of culture and society, whether it is past or present. I think most of the topics you mentioned are not subjects that are primarily learned in the classroom, but from life experience. At 25 years old, I believe my life experiences such as traveling the world, meeting new people, living in the midwest, have all contributed to my knowledge. I think it’s important for people to be well rounded and experiencing life is the best way for that to happen. I could not agree with you more that intellectual curiosity matters. We need to balance our academic culture with our pop culture.

  30. I have been in various PR classes and this is by far one of the best activities/ exercise. It is very important in this day and age to keep up with current events, but when talking to our employers they may refer to something older that we should be able to relate too. Thats why the quizzes you give us are going to benefit us in the long run. Even if we don’t know everything, learning random facts will be very beneficial.

  31. With the major role social media plays today’s age, staying informed is much easier than ever before. For instance, Twitter is becoming the new news hub where users can see whats happening when its happening. It is very important for people to stay informed, especially young people because they will be the future leaders of this country. As a political science major, I am required to stay up to date with the latest New York Times headlines from national to international news. Just by logging onto the website with my digital subscription I can already feel my awareness of the world growing.

  32. A good point well made. Beyond the need to be able to relate to historical, cultural, and current news and information, representing clients in different industries means making small talk in the beginning of a meeting can be difficult. Having general knowledge of current news, a bit of historical information on their industry or knowledge of media events relevant to them can create a smooth transition from greeting to meeting. It also and can position yourself as well versed to the client!

  33. Christine Wallen | Reply

    I think a lot of young adults are guilty of knowing more about pop culture these days oppose to any other topic. As media professionals, I feel it is our job to not only be aware of pop culture but to be aware of history as well. We need to expand where we get our news from in order to be successful in PR. We need to aware of past and present events because if we don’t then we run the risk of providing the wrong information to our audiences.

  34. Being a student in your class I personally love trivia! It is one of my favorite parts of class, I love seeing the things I don’t know and learning about them. I think that knowing history and popular culture is definitely important in our profession. You need references on situations and examples, and history and popular culture help make that possible.

  35. I concur completely with this post. You are absolutely right and I am very guilty of this. It is important as PR professionals to be aware and knowledgeable of past and current events. The trivia given in class is so essential because it keeps me informed and gives me a better understanding of history. As PR professionals, we will be working for different clients and it is very crucial that we are knowledgeable about general topics.

  36. I completely agree that today’s generation needs to stay informed about current events and history, especially the history of their own country. I try to stay informed by looking at newspaper headlines I see online or listening to the news on the radio. Being knowledgeable of current events is not only respectful to the myriad of clients public relations professionals may need to deal with, each of whom may be looking for something different in a perspective firm, but it is also a sign of maturity and will allow people to take someone more seriously.

  37. In order to be an effect public relations professional you have to know what is going on in the world. I believe that the trivia we take part in during class time is 100% mandatory. Even if we don’t know half of the answers we still take learn and take that prior knowledge with us. Kids now are growing up in a heavy “entertainment oriented” society. Everyone is more concerned with what celebrity is doing what and who they’re dating. It is at times unfortunate because we should all be learning about the government, the environment, and everything else BUT celebrity news. It is important, however, to be well rounded. Hence why the trivia in class is so essential.

  38. I agree that it is crucial for anyone interested in PR to be well educated in both current events and past history. Without the past history that has been made, current events would cease to exist. It is important to embrace the past and learn from it, both in the sense of life and in the professional realm. When working for different clients, you may run into obstacles that require knowledge of past events, and being misinformed is embarrassing and can come off as unprofessional. I am trying to become more informed about past history so I can avoid these problems when I am in the working field. Reading newspapers and reading old texts help keep your brain lively and help you attain new information.

  39. I think that you make a valid point. I feel that as a society we have become pop-culture obsessed and in turn that has allowed us to only keep up with celebrities. Instead of watching the news at night most students around my age get our news via social media which generally highlights pop culture. In order to where you heading in the future it is very important to know your past. That past being political, social and economical history. There is more to life than knowing about which reality tv star is dating who. It is important for PR professionals to be well-versed in current events as well as past historical moments. In order to be respected as a professional one should know more than why Justin Beiber got arrested.

  40. I started off my PR minor with you as a professor in PR 100, and trivia will ALWAYS be my favorite memory of learning about PR at Hofstra. It is pretty sad, when the class can’t get half or more right on the trivia, and I can be included in that shame. I do think it is a lot about what the media wants us to see, but like you stated we (ourselves) can pick up a newspaper/book, hit the museums and inform ourselves. I am a little ashamed, when I don’t know what someone is talking about because I have never heard about it or, worse, didn’t take the time to research it. Hofstra’s PR classes, and mainly you, have taught me how important it is to be well versed in general topics. It’s also a great networking tool that all PR professionals need. So, thank YOU! You definitely make a difference in a lot of our lives with your trivia games.

  41. I think you make an interesting point about millennials not knowing enough about history/the past. At first I didn’t agree at all. I think the internet has allowed us to find and consume vast amounts of information at an extremely fast rate. But the more I thought about it the more I realized younger generations are using the internet to explore more of *today’s* genres of things (music, movies, etc), and not necessarily music, movies, and pop culture of the past. In addition, not only is the internet used to research, but it’s a massive database. People upload meaningless movies, music, memes, etc. to the internet all the time. These are the kinds of things the younger generation is interested in, and with things like Instagram that only allows photos and captions, and vines that only allow short bursts of video or music, there is a lot of pressure to keep things short and simple. No one wants to watch the ending scene of Sunset Boulevard in which it takes 2 whole minutes for Norma Desmond to walk down a staircase to the tune of some pretty intense dramatic music and then have an entire monologue when they can easily find a short film, or one half hour episode of Orange is the New Black, or an entertaining vine on the internet.

    So ultimately, I agree. People, especially PR people, need a vast knowledge of lots of different areas, and they need to be extra careful not to leave out important milestones of the past.

  42. I love trivia in Professor Morosoff’s class. It’s important for PR professionals to stay informed. You have to know current events as well as past events. I work at a school and it’s sad that some of my students know a picture of Justin Bieber and not of John F. Kennedy. The trivia forces me to remember things I may have learned in elementary/high school, but I like that. It keeps my mind fresh. I try to stay informed with all types of information because as a future PR professional I am going to have to be.

  43. I also agree. I think it’s important to stay informed. It’s a responsibility/. I am happy to have trivia questions in Prof. Morosoff’s class every week. I see it as a brain exercise which forces me to think about or remember current or past events which is needed in the PR profession. I want to be able to reach audiences effectively as a PR professional or communicator.

  44. Katherine Hammer | Reply

    I think that it is very important for PR professionals to know about past and present events. History is extremely important, for it can help us understand why certain events have occurred, and why the world is like it is today. I agree that too many people do not step outside of their comfort zone. One has to search outside of the box in order to know what else goes on in the world. However, I think it is hard in this generation for we are spoon fed information from television, and it is information that is very narrow; it’s only what the televisor wants you to see. In our society we only focus on what is new, now, and what is “in” that we forget about past events. I think that it is important to go out and discover history that you know nothing about. In the PR profession, you must know about events throughout history, so you are able to connect any event to any point of time, and to any person. So the best way to start learning about the past is to, like you said, go to a museum, read a newspaper or even look into your parents’ old movie collection and discover things that will help you expand your knowledge.

  45. This is a very interesting observation! I totally agree that as upcoming PR professionals we should be aware of everything and anything. However, I can understand how some people don’t know certain information. It depends on certain individuals and how they grew up or their type of family life. I can see how everyone from New York can look at “The Godfather,” as their ‘Bible’ movie. However, people from China can care less about “The Godfather.” It depends on who we are, what we are interested in, and how we grow up that we learn about certain subjects. It is also important to point out that schools should teach us these huge events in our history. Everyone should brush up on major events or landmarks that have been popular with our world. It’s our responsibility to know the past and learn about new things for the future.

  46. I agree that it is important to have a vast cultural knowledge. Admittedly, however, I am definitely not the best at staying up with current events. I believe that as college students we are currently working to build up our knowledge of different cultural aspects, such as the address of the White House, or the central characters in “The Godfather.” I think it is important to gain this knowledge, but for me I am still in the process of doing so. It is important as PR professionals that we are informed on a variety of topics so that we can help various clients to the best of our ability. I am working to be more informed and find interest in articles in The New York Times, and I think that it is important that all PR majors and PR professionals do the same.

  47. I completely agree that it is important for anyone, especially PR professionals to have a general knowledge of not only current events but past events too. We never know what audience a client wants to reach or what the best news hook we can use is if we aren’t fully informed. One of my new years resolutions has been to read more just for this purpose. Not only the latest best sellers but newspapers, magazines and blogs to keep myself as informed as possible. It hasn’t been easy, but I now feel more confident joining in conversations and when brainstorming when writing. It’s something every PR professional should make time for. Knowing what happened yesterday and what happened 50 years ago can make a huge difference in the conversations we have and how we think. Whether you quickly peruse Twitter headlines or take a few hours to read The New York Times, STAY INFORMED!!!

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