Feeling strangely philosophical at the minute as I try to set myself on a new path. I am still job hunting - the philosophy comes from discovering more about myself and what I believe in as I sit through more interviews and fill out more application forms. Recognising your personal philosophies and goals makes this a lot easier to undertake. But more on the process of job hunting on a later date.
Whilst I have been away a couple of things have caught my eye beginning with this:
A while back now Simon posted about this CIPR Northern Conference 2006. As a non member of the CIPR, although I would like to be, I would have to fork out £185 for a ticket. As Simon points out I shouldn’t be outraged by this – after all “One of the recent PR Week conferences cost £1000+ for one-day.”
Surely this is wrong. £185 (plus VAT) is, and continues to be, a lot of money. Although obviously this will be an amazing event and if I can quote from Simon:
“The two confirmed keynotes so far include:
John Willman - UK Business Editor, Financial Times
Rob Skinner - Chief Press Officer First Direct and Marks & Spencer Money
While the three main workshops that I want to sit in on include:
PR in the voluntary sector - delivered by the team from Oxfam
The Regeneration Game - a panel discussion on the role PR plays in regeneration
Blogging and New PR - Philip Young and Stuart Bruce (but of course!)”
This is a terrific event that I and I’m sure many of my peers would love to go to. But then why put such a price tag on it so that so few of my generation of PR people can attend?
And what about the other conferences that cost £1,000 a day? Wow-ee who would you get there?
A lot has been said about the possible barriers to entry for young Public Relations practitioners, monetary being one of the biggest. The CIPR does a fantastic job to remove so many of these, with reduced rates for student and the Behind the Spin magazine.
But where is the free or reasonably priced PR love for fledgeling PR people in the form of these amazing days out? It saddens me that these price tags can be perceived as anything but ridiculous
So many Bloggers are also educators (not just the academically associated ones), and though their blogs have taught me so much, all for free. Same goes for the amazing podcasts available from forward and FIR. But despite all these amazing mediums, nothing really compares to being in the same room as someone who can impart wisdom, and the atmosphere of being at such events, and learning new information face to face.
Surely if the industry shuts out its younger members then it also shuts out their ideas and feedback, and all the things that we can teach them, all the creativity that is blocked.
I know there will be people who feel that all conferences are this expensive - from accounting to computing - so why should PR be any different? But does this really excuse it? As anyone whose mother has said 'if everyone else was jumping off a cliff would you?' can tell you - no, it doesn't.
So I suppose it is back to personal philosophy again. I just reckon that there should be greater breaks for those who are just starting out in the industry such as the students and the new PROs. And ultimately won't this will help to build a stronger, better PR industry in the future?