PR Academy is looking to document how studying a PR qualification has helped in developing careers. The “Your Learning Journey” concept involves posting a comment on its blog in no more than 140 words relating the influence and path taken as a result of gaining a qualification. As well as potentially winning a Trailfinders gift card to the value of £250, there’s an opportunity to feature in its campaign to encourage continuous learning. You don’t have to be a PR Academy student to take part (and you are encouraged to Tweet using the #learningjourney hashtag).
This initiative is interesting to me, not only because I’ve spend over a decade working with many students of public relations (including those enrolled with PR Academy), but for the connections it has to my own PhD studies into career strategies in PR.
If you are thinking about your next move in public relations, there are three concepts I’ve found running as threads through my research into the historical context of career strategies in the field. Continue reading →
PR time – balancing urgency and importance (after Stephen Covey)
One of those silly PR surveys yesterday made me think – it was about procrastination and the time we waste in putting things off. I am very familiar with the idea with students – and PR practitioners – who are deadline-oriented creatures and expert also at displacement behaviour where you focus on other tasks rather than knuckling down to the priority at hand.
I’ve produced this infographic as part of my presentation at next week’s International History of Public Relations Conference. My paper aims to foreground the career experiences of women working in public relations in Britain during the 1970s and 1980s. As well as reviewing the existing historical literature (where the presence of women is largely missing) and conducting qualitative interviews, I wanted to put the story into some statistical context.
Although the veracity of any data is impossible to verify, it does provide heuristic knowledge of the increased feminization of the field of public relations over the past four decades. During the 1970s and 1980s, the data indicates the percentage of women in PR in the UK increased from around 10% to 40% – from one to four in every ten practitioners. This has risen further in the last twenty years to almost seven in ten practitioners. Continue reading →
The PR ban is often the core plot of a classic David and Goliath narrative. The key elements of such a fantasy theme are simple:
a likeable central character (individual, group or organisation) who represents positive values
a challenge or opposing force that has to be overcome
supporting characters who offer positive or negative reactions
the plot of how the problem emerged and will be resolved
similarity of the story to similar ones which can reinforce the message
My PR narrative model draws out three aspects:
Subject – what is being said
Mode – how the narration is expressed
Means – the way in which the narration is conveyed
The recent story of Martha Payne, the nine-year old girl who faced a ban on taking photographs of her school meals for her NeverSeconds blog is a clear example. A cute child who reflects a positive attitude towards healthy eating, facing opposition to her articulate posts from the bureaucratic forces of Argyll and Bute Council. The supporting characters include an army of bloggers and Twitterites, plus the heroic school-dinner warrior, celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver. The story evolved quickly, with the help of social and traditional media who turned on the evil council, forcing its leader to apologise live on the serious BBC Radio 4 news programme, The World at One.
The Jubilee celebrations marking 60 years since Queen Elizabeth II became monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have reflected an enormous spectacle of public relations. They have provided a promotional occasion for London, the Royal Family, several Commonwealth countries and (in a more subtle and less aggressive way than the forthcoming Olympics), for several brands, such as Waitrose which provided the Buckingham Palace picnic hampers.
The disaster of the Titanic’s sinking a centenary ago has been reported in crisis management texts such as Fearn-Banks to illustrate the need for planning and other advice the authors wish to highlight. However, reading Coombs it is clear that the key issues were operational, so the Titanic appears appropriated by public relations as a reason for criticism, even before there was an established occupation to critique.
You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
That would appear to be the case with the Susan G Koman vs Planned Parenthood crisis this past week. Or the issue of bankers’ bonuses in the UK. In fact we increasingly live in a world – fuelled by the ease of expression offered by social media – in which publics can be outraged about everything and anything at the click of a Tweet.
Did you start 2012 with one or more resolutions? Did you get up this morning with the intention to achieve particular tasks? Have you leapt into February with new goals? Or have you resolved to change your attitude or behaviour?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines resolution as a firmness of purpose, with intention reflecting the determination required to achieve this end goal.
“For decades a stream of bright young men and women, most of them with college degrees ranging from B.S. to Ph.D., have been coming to my office to ask me and my wife how to enter the profession of public relations.”
These words were written by Edward Bernays in his 1961 publication: Your Future in Public Relations.
In 1943, a chapter in Averill Broughton’s book: The New Profession, asked ‘Do you belong in the public relations field? Broughton noted:
Let us grant that any really intelligent man or woman of imagination and sensitivity, who also possesses good business judgment and a wide experience with people and the practical world we live in, can become a successful public relations executive.