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