98. Dying (Guest) 

eliwoodbine

Ah ha! I’ve got you here. But fear not, I’m not dying. Well I guess I am really, as we’re all dying in some way, but this post is not about my imminent (or maybe not so imminent) death.

Click bait. That’s what it was, and amazingly, there were probably many who were able to scroll right past the title without clicking because it wasn’t shocking enough.

There is now so much noise online with so many different people clamouring for attention that it is almost impossible to get yourself heard, and we all moan about it. “Why aren’t more people listening to my music?” “Why are my video views down?” “Why is my blog not getting more readers?”

Here’s a different question: “Who do we think we are?”

Why on earth would anyone actually want to read this? I’m just another person from planet earth with an opinion, and…

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Is PR a Profession? The debate:

12711267_953370568065542_2172253623818280023_oFor the past few weeks at university, we’ve been focusing on the ethics of PR, and one of the lectures was focused around whether or not PR was a profession.  So, I want to focus this week’s blog post on just that..

 

Profession

Credit: Cambridge Dictionary

According to the good old Cambridge dictionary, a profession is defined as: “Any type of work that needs special training or a particular skill, often one that is respected because it involves a high level of training.”

Knowing that, would you define Public Relations as a profession? Following what the definition says, PR ticks all the boxes.

  • You have to complete a degree in Public Relations*
  • You must have a specific set of skills to be able to succeed in PR, namely good writing skills, otherwise you wouldn’t be in PR as it’s an essential skill, not to mention communication, organisation, time management and the rest!Also, not mentioned in the definition, which we discussed in the lecture – is that usually, if what you do is considered to be a profession, you belong to a professional body – so for Public Relations, it’s the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

 

Assuming that you agree, so far, Public Relations does fit the criteria to be considered a profession. However, let’s not forget that there may be some  former journalists (I’m not sure how many) who have converted to PR who have not had the training, and may not be registered with the CIPR, which starts to affect the view as to whether PR is a profession.

Being considered a profession has always been of importance to PR Practitioners and those working in PR. According to the State Of The Profession (2015) report, 96% of the people who took part in the questionnaire considered being viewed as professional was important to them, see image below:

PR Practice

CIPR State Of The Profession: 2015 report findings

The report also found that 79% of PR ‘professionals’ believed experience in a PR role is a professional’s most valuable asset.

There are a number of factors that can impact on whether PR can be considered a profession, and one of them is the perception of PR – what people from other jobs, the public, and other professions think about it.  Ironically, although PR is largely about reputation, the job/profession itself doesn’t have a good reputation, so many may not view it as being worthy of being classed as a profession.

However, as the State Of The Profession report found, 84% of those working in PR are likely to be graduates from PR related courses, and the other 16%, who didn’t attend university, are likely to have worked in the industry for over 20 years.

In the lecture, most of us agreed (including myself, I strongly agree) that PR is a profession and not a job. However, our lecturer, (a former journalist) – disagreed, and said that because there are so many journalists who have converted to being a PR practitioner, and therefore not received the appropriate training or registered to the CIPR – then it can’t be considered a profession, but with the number of courses that have CIPR accreditation, and the number of people working in PR with the relevant education and training outweighing those who don’t, I still stand by my view that PR is a profession.

 

*I understand that you don’t necessarily have to have a Public Relations degree to work in PR, but most practitioners do.

 

I’d love to know your thoughts too. Do you consider Public Relations worthy of being a profession or do you disagree? What other areas would you class as a profession?

Let me know in the comments, or tweet me to carry on the debate: @ShelBrown_

That rounds up my post for this week! You can view the State Of The Profession (2015) report here: http://www.cipr.co.uk/content/policy-resources/research/cipr-state-profession-2015/commentary-analysis

Thanks for reading.

 

The Diaries of a PR Girl

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Tips for students wanting to break in to PR.

Most people will know, once you find a career path you want to go down, it may be difficult to break in to the industry. Here are a few tips that I thought I’d share with you all.

  1. Don’t expect the world straight away

    First of all, I’d say, know that your first job (unless you’re very lucky) won’t be your dream job. However, if you’re motivated enough, you will get there. Take any form of experience, whether in the area of PR you want to go in or not, it makes you stand out from other people, and you will learn a lot. Plus, it’s good to know about the different areas too.

    Hatrick PR

    Copyright: Hatrick PR

  2. Practice writing as and when you can.

    hand-writing-in-journal

    The more you write, the better you’ll be at it, as cliche as that sounds.

  3. Start building up a portfolio of work:

    Many people say that they really want a job in ____ area, but they have no work to show a potential employer. By building up a collection of work, an employer can see how committed you are, and it’s a good tool for you to use to improve anything you do in the future.

  4. Use social media!

    twitter_facebook1

    I’m sure majority of the population now have at least a Facebook or a Twitter account, but it can be used in a professional way too. It’s a great way to network.

  5. Start building up your contacts/network now!

    Following on from my last point, it’s never to early to start making connections. As a student, you might not think about it that much, but it’s good to have industry connections. Keep in touch with them & keep a relationship going. You never know when they might come in handy!
    *LinkedIn is a great place to start.

  6. Find a placement or volunteer somewhere

    As I said in my first point, your first job is unlikely to be the dream one you’ve always wanted. However, if you have a lot of placement/volunteering experience, it shows an employer that you do actually want to work in this area, so much so that you’ve been willing to do it without being paid. Placements or volunteering opportunities are also another great way to build your connections.

  7. Pay attention to the news!

    This is a must, especially if you’re wanting a career in any sort of media! It may sound obvious, but many students don’t know enough of what’s going on around them, which is worrying considering that’s the area they want to go in. I don’t mean you have to sit watching the news all day, just be aware of what’s happening – read a newspaper, listen or watch the news.

  8. Blog?

    Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 19.31.55

    It doesn’t have to be PR related, as long as it’s something you’re passionate about, and you have plenty of ideas in terms of content it will work. This is a great way to focus your writing skills, and get noticed by employers.

  9. Go along to any industry related events

    At my university, we have weekly masterclasses with people that have been in the industry who can shed light on their experiences, what their job entails, answer any questions, and even offer placements. Don’t take it for granted, they can be very useful. If you’re a member of a professional body, such as the CIPR, they regularly hold regional events for members to attend – again, it’s a good way to network, and you’ll learn a variety of things too.

    cipr

  10. Always be professional

    Whether it’s email correspondence, or a one to one meeting, first impressions do count. That doesn’t mean you have to constantly walk around in your best outfit in fear of seeing a potential employer, but be professional and polite no matter who you speak to.

    I’d say, create a business card and carry a few around with you, so that if you do meet someone,  you’re prepared.  In terms of email: I think I’m stating the obvious here, but don’t put kisses/informal language in an email, you’re creating a bad impression from the get go. Do your research, and make sure you know enough about a company before emailing. If you know the name of the person you’re emailing, put their name instead of making it more general.

So, that’s about it for my top tips. Do you have any suggestions or advice on how to break in to PR? Let me know!

The diaries of a PR Girl

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What is Public Relations?

So, you say you want a career in PR. That’s great! But do you know what Public Relations is, and what it does?  As a second year PR student, I’ve found that explaining what PR is, and what it does is very difficult, because PR covers a lot of things.

According to the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations),  PR is best defined as:

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.

In plain English, I would say that (although I’m by no means an expert) I see Public Relations as a way to communicate with people (more specifically, your target publics.) By communicating with them, you are building up a relationship with them, which will hopefully have a positive impact in what they say, and think about you.

The types of PR:

There are two types of Public Relations:

In House – This is where you work for one specific company or organisation

Agency – You work for a PR agency, but instead of just working with one client, you will work with multiple clients.

The perception of PR, although it now seems to be changing (in a positive way), used to be a negative one, and I think that’s partly because it’s a relatively new career, and its hard to understand exactly what its role is & what it involves.

Journalists also used to view PR negatively, because to some, PR was responsible for ‘churnalism’ and creating stories that weren’t really stories – but a way of promoting a client’s product or service.

It also doesn’t help that some see PR as a glitzy, glamorous, easy job, attending free gigs/concerts/launches etc. That’s a very small part of PR – and believe it or not, there is a lot of hard work involved.

(See video – I was shown this in the first year of my degree. This is definitely what PR isn’t!!)

 

(Youtube: Absolutely Fabulous, I’m PR Darling)

If you’re after a standard 9-5 job, then I would say PR wouldn’t be a career for you because it involves so much time and effort and in reality, PR is a demanding job with long unsociable hours, which requires a strong level of time management and organisational skills and a very high work ethic.

But, I can promise you that it is worth it. When you are first planning a PR campaign and are working around the clock to meet deadlines – you feel drained. But when the campaign is finished, and you can see the end result of all the planning, the late nights, and the constant need for caffeine, you are proud of what you’ve managed to achieve.
This is one of the reasons I chose to study PR, because it’s fast paced, and no two days are the same. Especially if you work for an agency.

What does PR involve?

PR can be so broad, because you end up doing little bits of everything, really.
From my experience, here’s what I’ve learnt so far:

  • How to write a press release/media pack
  • How to plan and manage a PR campaign
  • How PR works alongside marketing and advertising (integrated campaigns)
  • Media Relations (Very important) – a good relationship with a journalist could help you gain coverage for your client and their news.
  • Organising events/press conferences/launches

NB: I have learnt a lot more than this too – but it’s hard to write every single thing down.

This post wasn’t intended to scare people away from a career in PR – but I hope that it gives people an insight in to what PR involves.

& I guess that rounds up my first post!

I’d love to know your thoughts on what PR is, and what it does. Do you agree with me, or do you think differently?

Let me know in the comments.

 

 

The Diaries of a PR Girl

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So, you think you want a career in PR?