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).
Weblogs and other social softwares are changing PR - and staying ahead of the game can offer opportunities for students looking for first career break. If PR is about projecting a reputation, a showcase blog can be a help, writes Philip Young
Media is vital to our lives, so it should be studied properly. And anyway, media studies graduates have a better-than-average chance of landing a job – so why are media degrees sometimes so scorned? Will Duffield reports
Alexandra Cook (left) and Nicola Wilkinson wonder why students sign up for PR courses when they don't have a clue what it involves
After three years at university it's hard to remember why you chose that city, much less why you selected one particular course. Indeed it becomes evident that some students didn't decide; the choices were made for them. Some of these stick it out, even learn to enjoy it; others do not.
PR is a difficult discipline to define; almost impossible at university entry level, marginally easier on graduation, though perhaps only so because after three years you become used to justifying the wide range of working possibilities that fit within the "broad church" that encompasses our profession. So why do students sign up to study PR, if they don't clearly understand what it is? Few, we suggest, come to study PR based on a definite view of what it actually involves, and with a reasoned ambition to enter the business. Others - count us amongst them - are guided by a relative, teacher, or friend who claims to recognise some facility or attribute that suggests "you're a natural for PR". And so, without any great depth of knowledge or expectation, you sign up for a critical three years of your life on the basis of faith in that recommen-dation, or for lack of a better idea.
Two years ago Ify Anyaegbunam graduated from the College of St Mark and St John with a degree in public relations. She now works in the corporate relations department of the Unilever company Lever Faberge. She says it’s now time to stop the endless debate about the value of such courses, and turn them to advantage.