I wish that I knew what I know now…

At the start of studying PR, I had no idea what to expect. But now, nearing the end of final year, there’s some things that I wish I could tell my 19-year-old self back in first year.

Don’t buy all the books

This makes me sound like a terrible student but hear me out. Some books I have bought and picked up only once to use one chapter to research and quote in an essay. Others I’ve read cover to cover and they are covered in notes and post-its.

Don’t buy every book on your reading list on day one. Start out by taking the recommended books out the library and invest in copies of those that you use often. You could always buy different books to friends on your course and swap copies too!

stack-of-books

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Be social media smart

Social media. How could we live without it now?! And speaking as a budding PR pro (she says hopefully) I know how integral it is becoming to PR campaigns. But it is also key that your personal social media profiles portray you in the best way.

So I’ve thought about some tips to make your social media profiles their best.

Keep one of your profiles purely professional.

If you follow me on Twitter (and you can do so here) you will see that majority of my posts are PR related, or something similar, and you don’t have all the details of my social life (you’ve got to allow me the odd tweet off topic!). As it stands, my Twitter and LinkedIn stay fairly professional, then my Facebook and Instagram are kept for posts my friends and family will care about. I think this avoids boring any professional contacts with the photo album of your last holiday!

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My placement journey

If you’ve read my blog before, you may well know that I have spent the last two weeks on a placement with Press Ahead (and if you don’t know, check out previous blog posts here and here). Sadly, my time with the team has come to an end, but I have had a great time and feel a million times more confident in what a career in PR will be like.

I’ve used all the skills that I have learnt in my university lectures, added to these a nice list of new ones and I have created a wealth of different resources. I’ve really enjoyed working on live projects with the team and I feel so grateful for the trust they put in me when assigning me tasks. I didn’t expect to get as many different experiences and have the chance to be so ‘hands-on’ – thank you PR team for trusting me with some interesting jobs and testing my skills! Top tip: When going into a placement, if there’s any tasks you want to try out – ask! I’m sure they will be more than happy to help with any requests, just as Press Ahead were.

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Lessons Learnt

As I am moving house next week, it means I am currently doing a lot of packing and organising. And whilst doing so I have found some work from first year. The project I was most excited to have dug out was my first ever PR campaign for Sunderland Flames Women’s Rugby Team (not one we put into practice might I add, just planned and presented it in class).

Having a read through again, I am still extremely proud of what we put together and how good our final presentation looked. But I also saw lots of things I was not so proud of and that I would change in a heartbeat if given the chance to do the campaign again!

So, here are the PR lessons I have learnt looking back on this work over a year later…

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Skill #1 – News Release

Call it what you may, but a news release/press release/media release is the bread and butter of a PR practitioner’s repertoire. The skills have been drilled into us since day one of university and in the industry experience I have had so far they have been a day-to-day essential.

So what is a news release? 

A public relations announcement issued to the news media and other targeted publications for the purpose of letting the public know of company developments – entrepreneur.com

Or in simpler terms, it is a document released to the media informing them of news and events. Most often they are produced by a PR looking for media coverage for their company or client and will be sent to journalists, broadcasters and news desks locally, nationally or globally for them to decide whether they wish to use the content.

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Welcome

Hello and welcome to my first blog post!

I thought I would set the ball rolling with this by setting the scene a little on what I, and this blog are all about. So first question that needs to be answered is why study Public Relations? Throughout school and college there were always some things I have been good at – writing, communicating and organising projects. As well as this, I have always had an interest in the media and how people are influenced by what they see, read and hear. Upon researching potential degree subjects, Public Relations just seemed to fit the bill in terms of all these things I was good at and enjoyed. For those of you who aren’t quite sure what I mean when talking of this elusive career in PR, this is the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) definition:

Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics. 

So that’s how studying Public Relations came about. I then decided to combine this with French – something I have always loved and I know having a language would make me a stand-out candidate in many career paths.

Next I suppose I ought to answer why start blogging?

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