My Very First PR Event!

9.00am – Three of us first year students walk into room TS212 early on a Wednesday morning ready fora busy day ahead of us. Those studying PR were gathered to partake in Solent’s ‘E-Campaign In A Day’ where us students were given the task titled ‘Solent Saves The World’.

I felt a little intimidated walking into a room full of students from the second and third years of our degree as well as various Masters students. After only 7 weeks of studying the subject, we were getting chucked into the deep end and were working with students with much more experience and knowledge than us. A little bit daunting if I do say so myself.

We then sat through an introduction about the day and even got given some advice from Jason, the President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). From there, we were put into groups and given a topic. Our group, contained us three first year PR students and two MA students, where neither of them had studied PR as an undergraduate degree. Let’s say we were all slightly concerned. However, we were given the topic of Homelessness and decided to do our best regardless of our collective lack of PR experience.

10.00am – 4.00pm – So for the next 6 hours we created our e-campaign titled ‘What If It Was You’. We used what we knew, therefore we heavily focussed on the use of social media in order to complete our aim, which was to change people’s perceptions of homelessness. Alongside this, we created posters and a video comprised of facts to create an emotional response. We even got a like from The Salvation Army UK’s twitter account which was a highlight for us!

4.00pm – Time to present! All 8 groups had to create a presentation of their campaign and share it at the end of the day ready for our lecturers, and Jason, to come to a decision of who’s was best. Despite the other fantastic campaigns and our lack of confidence, we won the pitch! How surprising!

What a long, tiring yet resourceful day it was! I learnt a lot from the day, particularly to follow my own instinct and to speak up! I will definitely be taking part in the next e-campaign event, that’s for sure.

Talk Soon, Em x

What Is PR?

Since I decided to do my degree in public relations, I have been asked multiple times what exactly that is. It is not a very well known concept amongst the general public and in my mind is very hard to explain whilst giving it justice.

Whenever I tell people what degree I am doing at Uni, the main response is “Oh, what does that involve?”. Overtime I have created the generic response of “managing reputations of companies”. I personally know that this does not sum up PR but to others this creates an idea of the subject and we move on. However, PR is so much more than managing reputations. That is one thing I love about this course, it is going to give me a wide range of knowledge and experience which I can then take with me into the industry.

If I were to explain what PR is to you now, the list would be incredibly long! However, here are a few key areas that PR & Comms covers.

  • Media Relations
  • Crisis Management
  • Event Planning & Management
  • Sponsorship
  • Supporting Marketing
  • Public Affairs
  • Corporate PR
  • Strategic Communication
  • Internal Communications
  • Copywriting

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In the industry you can either work in-house or for an agency. In-house is when you work for a single company and your job is to manage that brand. Whereas, an agency will deal with multiple companies at a single time. There isn’t much difference in the day to day tasks done by a PR professional within these two areas, plus every day in this job is likely to change anyway!

Also, public relations does interlink with other areas such as Journalism and Marketing very well and that is what makes it even harder to define exactly what PR is.

Anyway I hope this has clarified some things for those of you who were unsure on what PR is! And I’m sure I will learn in much more detail what exactly PR is in the next three years of my degree, so I will update you later on!

Talk soon, Em x

My First Week At Uni!

The 16th of September 2017 will forever be a memorable day for me as it was the day that I moved 111 miles away from home to begin a new chapter in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been looking forward to this day pretty much since I got my UCAS offer confirmed. However, there is something about being almost abandoned in a strange city that can be a little daunting.

I moved to Southampton to begin my BA (Hons) Public Relations & Communications degree at Southampton Solent University. If you ask me why I chose this course, I honestly couldn’t tell you a direct reason. Simply, I loved the idea of the course and wanted to do a course that was different to what I’d done before which would then give me a successful career at the end of my three years here.

As I write this, I have been living in my student accommodation for one week! My room is very small but incredibly cosy and I honestly feel very much at home. Plus my flat mates are all lovely which is of course very important as we are now stuck together for this year. My love for Floor 7 will be eternal, I’m certain of it!

My very first day in Southampton was spent wandering the city with a few of my flatmates. We wanted to get to know the city a little before we were thrown into the busy student life we knew was awaiting us on Monday morning. It was a lovely sunny, but slightly chilly, day for exploring the place we were ready to call home for the next few years.

              

My first week has generally been me going to Uni for welcome week 10am-5pm most days, going home to eat and then either a relaxing night in or off out for the freshers events the Southampton night life has to offer! It has been an incredibly tiring week but I have made so many new friends from all parts of the Uni which has been absolutely incredible.

During the welcome week I have spent time with those on my course, we are a small cohort of 14 students so we are already getting to know each other well. Our sessions have varied from building rapport (technical PR stuff I know!) to storytelling to mini golf! It has been a different experience for me which I have enjoyed very much and hope to continue over my time in the lovely Southampton.

Talk soon, Em x