CIPR Wessex champions social media

Within CIPR Wessex, the enthusiasm of committee member, John Weet, is encouraging more local PR practitioners to understand, and get involved with, social media. 

Last week this involved an evening where six speakers gave brief presentations (and answered questions) on different aspects of social media relating to public relations:

Follow the links to Slideshare for the PowerPoint presentations we gave.  I confess that this was one of the most challenging presentations I’ve ever prepared – as I’d suggested we adopt the Pecha Kucha format, involving 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds.

It is really hard to say much in so little time, but the idea was to focus on “fast facts” and ensure lots could be covered in the evening.  Like most of the presenters, I found the slides changing more quickly than I’d anticipated – even after rehearsing.  The fast pace also seemed to challenge the audience – as we are probably more used to a slower presentational style. 

I felt we’d covered more in terms of the scope of social media considered, but less in respect of the depth that any of us could offer.  Although there was 10 minutes each for Q&A, it was surprising that few questions were actually asked by the 30+ attendees – perhaps the fast pace impacted on their ability to reflect on what we’d said.

It was an interesting experiment and I’d like to try it again during my teaching as it is an excellent discipline to be able to convey information succinctly – and giving students an opportunity to focus in short, high energy bursts ought to be a useful addition to other learning methods.

There have been quite a few hits on the Powerpoint presentations, which should mean that those attending have taken the time to follow up at a more leisurely pace.

Quite a few people have also signed up to the next step in John’s CIPR Wessex social media masterplan – attending the first Social Media Forum on 11 August.  As well as an informal talk from Sam Shepherd, Digital Manager of the Bournemouth Echo about its use of social media, the evening offers a chance to share personal experiences and learn new skills from each other.  If you are local – it would be good to meet you there.

What I really like about John’s approach is that a good group of people are coming together and it should be really useful to learn from each other.  I’m looking forward to both sharing and learning more things myself.

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

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