Public Relations: Students + Practitioners + Academics
Behind The Spin
What is Behind the Spin? Welcome to the web log of Behind the Spin, the magazine for and written by Public Relations students. Behind the Spin was first produced by students from the College of St Mark and St John, Plymouth, but was quickly opened to students, practitioners and academics across the UK. The print magazine is published three times a year, the blog will updated every Monday. Please send articles for consideration to Editor John Hitchins (you can comment any item by clicking Comment at the bottom of each post).
Good news for those who do a placement year as part of their degree: employers value it. That's the key finding of TANYA FROST's university dissertation.
Higher education is continuing to change and adapt. Its very purpose and role is being questioned, and concerns have been voiced that traditional educational programmes are failing to address the needs of both students and industry. An increased emphasis on skills and employability are driving these changes and vocational degrees that incorporate work experience with academic study are becoming a major feature of higher education today. PR degrees are no exception, with many of those offered in the UK running an industrial placement.
Glamorous work place? Check Fast-paced workload? Check Liaising with clients over lunch? Check A simple 9-5 job? Wrong
Public Relations is ranked in the top three most popular career choices for graduates in the UK, and it's easy to see why. However, it is also easy to gloss over the hard work that goes into running a successful public relations business, as LISA TAYLOR found out when she asked people - including herself - what is required to work in public relations.
About halfway through her first year studying PR at Leeds Met the realisation dawned on ALICE EDMOND...
I didn't want to work in a PR consultancy. Before then I don't think I'd really considered all the different options, but when I did I decided I wanted to work in-house, in the public sector. My reasons? The range of work, the unpredictability, but most of all the feeling that what I'm doing is worthwhile.
About 17 years ago, when I began a part-time PhD in public relations, there was little empirical research into the subject, writes PHILIP KITCHEN. A decade later, I was privileged to publish an edited textbook on the discipline. In that 1997 book there were several predictions of future development. Let's reconsider these statements eight years on.
By the time he was twenty five, Caravaggio had produced some stunning works of art and had gained the support of influential patrons, writes GERALD CHAN.
Yet he had spent eight years' hard graft as an apprentice before his genius had been recognised and the commissions started rolling in. He was eager to learn and toiled at his craft, remaining true to his aesthetic principle of 'painting only from life'.
How does one go from graduating in biochemistry to practising PR? I don't know because I haven't done it yet, writes DAMI AWOBAJO.
What I can say is that it takes a lot of endeavour, persistence and capacity to cope with rejection. I am told that these are some of the attributes that are required as a PR practitioner - so I guess no experience is wasted.
"So I hear you are trying to do something in PR?" an old university friend asked me some time ago.
"Yes, trying," I sigh, knowing how this conversation usually goes.
Everywhere I went in class, there they were. It got me thinking: why are there so many women doing PR?
In the 'old' days (which for me is about 20 years ago) most PR people were men. They were usually former journos who had decided to take a ride in a slower lane for what was usually better money.
These thoughts remained with me throughout the duration of my Masters Degree and have now morphed into my PhD research: the predominance of women in PR - a study based in the Western Australian capital of Perth.
Guest editor Richard Bailey writes: Joining the Chartered Institute of Public Relations is cheaper for students. If you join at the start of your course, you'll gain a year's membership for free. By joining, you'll have contact details on 8,000 members - a network you can call on for work experience and advice. You'll also be able to read skills guides and check out job ads in the members' area, receive Profile magazine and PR Week and attend meetings and visits in your region.
Above all, you'll be able to put your student membership on your CV. Chartered status was achieved earlier this year, marking an important step on the journey towards professional status for public relations practitioners. A CIPR-approved PR degree, CIPR membership and work experience in PR: these are three things most likely to advance your careers in the early years.