28 February, 2006

First Graduate Application Form Ends In Disaster.

I had an absolute nightmare yesterday. I had decided to apply for the graduate application scheme at edelman. They seem really supportive and the scheme looks really good. The cut-off point was the 28th Feburary, so I decided to email it over on the 27th.

The form was one of those standard, reveal everything about yourself and why you are you in 100 words max, kinda forms. But I thought I had put some good answers and was feeling fairly chuffed with myself and just wanted to get it off.

There was a bit you have to sign at the bottom, so the plan was to sign it and then rescan the entire 5 page document to send over to Edelman. Easy. Or so I thought...

Having scanned each of the pages and saved them as bitmap files the only thing standing between me and having some tea was to email it. Here I hit a problem.

Yahoo cannot send files that are over 10MB. shit.

So then I decide that compressing the file will help - as I am fairly computer savvy - I am once again quite chuffed at my brilliance imagining the people at Edelman seeing this as resourceful, etc and full of other qualities they look for in a graduate. Not to be. The compressed file is over 10MB.

At this point feeling really dis-heartened. I decide to send each page off separately just to get it out. All of my former smugness crushed and my longing for tea forgotten. Right now I need a cigarette, thus destroying my so-far sterling efforts to quit - this does not improve my mood.

The emails (all five) get sent off. Feel like a complete amateur.

Checked my emails this morning. There are four mail delivery failure messages. They only got the first page with my name.

A severely unhappy bunny I posted it this morning. I've probably missed the deadline and therefore will not be considered.

Oh well plenty more opportunities out there, as long as my email never lets me down again...

And if you are from Edelman. I tried!

23 February, 2006

New Links!

Hey I thought it might be fun if I also provided links to all the companies that I have worked for. I am also trying to upload some of my work. I understand that this could be quite dull - a sort of online portfolio - but I promise that I will try not to add to much dull stuff. Genius Creative PR are just sorting out their website but one that is up there I shall whack on a link!

If anyone else wants a link to their website/blog let me know!

22 February, 2006

PR Gifts

First an apology for not writing for a while - things all got a bit hectic over the weekend and somehow I was left stranded away from my computer!

Anyway I am back now. I see that the subject of press gifts are in the news again. The question here is is it ethical to attempt to sway press persons with gifts and press packs? A lot of people may think that this is testimony to bribery, however (as ever) I think that there is slightly more to it than that. There is a certain unwritten rule that gifts are fine as long as they can be vaguely relatively to what/who the PR person is representing but sometimes they stretch these boundaries too far.

For example My father (who is editor of a mechanical engineering mag) went to Las Vegas for a conference the other week. All the journeys were put up in Caesers Hotel and there was quite obviously a lot of funding behind this conference. In a stroke of brilliance (or a very silly move) everyone attending was given a brand new iPod Nano - the tiny tiny ones - with all the information for the conference on them. Once the five days were over they were allowed to keep the Nano.

Now whether this was an excellent idea or not remains to be seen. Apparently those who did not loose them either already owned one or were unsure of what it was really for.

As for what Dad did with his? He informed me that he would not be bought with snazzy technology and that he had never taken it out of its box. He did keep it. To sell on eBay.

16 February, 2006


Am rather worried about the addictive qualities of blogging! It has now become another welcome break from the dissertation writing business, and I can make it last for ages whilst convincing myself that what I am doing is very relevant and bordering on the virtious. Rather than the displacement activity that secretly I can admit it is.

15 February, 2006

The Fustrations of Student Reseach

PR Week is upsetting me this week - well actually it has for a while. The same goes - to an extent - with the CIPR website.

I do understand the need to ask for paid subscriptions to the website, it stops (shock horror) non-PR people from having acssess to it, and possibly becoming over stimulated. This I understand.

What I do not understand is the need to block out students who are not subscribers, especially in the case of the CIPR, students on their approved university courses. This seems very silly. After all we may find the news in PR week useful in, oh say, our dissertations for one.

Yes our libraries do have the back catalogues and subscriptions to them both, but this is not extended to the students. Of course this also means that half an hours internet browse could in reality take a day or so.

Would it not therefore be sensible to create an Athens portal on the website, just as they do on Mintel and Lexis Nexis. This would keep out those without a password and allow the universities access for their students.

After all it is difficult enough with the tiny tiny loans, that do of course have a growing interest, then having to add extra cost just because major factors in the industry do not want to help out the next generation of Public Relations. Crazy.

13 February, 2006

Is it too soon?

Is it too soon to consider job seeking? I only wonder because I don't want it to get to June and to have not got a job, and face many more month living with my parents before I can afford to move out.

11 February, 2006

The Butler did it!

I've just read that 'Jeeves' has been dropped by the search engine ask jeeves. This is due to a re-branding and re-positioning of the search engine in which 'ask jeeves' will become 'ask.com'.

I seems a shame that the only thing that distinguished them from hundreds of other search engines is now being dropped, obviously made a scapegoat for the low usage of the site. Aganst the giant of Google they will never match, and loosing any brand personality along the way will merely speed up their slide into oblivion.

Asking Questions

As part of my dissertation I have decided to get some interviews for my primary research. I hope my tutor does not read this as I said I had done them ages ago!

As discussed earlier I am attempting to shed some light on the whole publicist/PR practitioner condundrum. Hopefully my interviewees will fill the questions out fully. I made the decision to email them out as this will not infringe too much on anyones time and also meas that I will not have to transcribe hours of dictaphone, lazy but practical I think. I have had to fill out a research ethics release form and therefore all results of this survey will be confidential and anonymous, in accordance with data protection legislation.

(1) Do you believe that there is a difference between Publicists and Public Relations Practitioners?

(2) Why?

(3) Would you consider Max Clifford a PR Practitioner?

(4) Why?

(5) Can such clear labels as ‘Publicist’ or ‘Practitioner’ ever be used?

(6) Why do you think there is confusion as to the proper titles in Public Relations job roles?

(7) Should the general public be further educated as to the role of practitioners?

(8) Why?

(9) How?

This dissertation is not all about Mr Clifford - but he does personify the confusion over whether he is PR or publicist - or perhaps he is both?

Anyone care to hazard a guess?

09 February, 2006

My Dissertation

For my dissertation I was inspired by Philip Young's PR Meditations blog written on April 4th. it is only short, but (as these things often do) it was the snowball that started an avalanche.

The blog was written about Mark Borkowski's colomn in The Guardian about the new face of the CIPR, in which he 'fire[s] off a stinging putdown of the newly-chartered IPR. Julian Henry's column lauds the acheivements of Max Clifford, setting out exactly why he is the best in the business.

'Henry writes "Shady trading and underhand dealing with newspaper people is an essential part of being an effective PR practitioner and though many of the big agencies might look down their noses at him, there is a lot to be learnt from the technique and application of someone like Clifford."

'Purists would argue Clifford isn't a PR at all, he's a publicist, a different kind of animal entirely.

Interesting, isn't it, that Henry and Borkowski, two of the real stars of UK PR, take such a different line to the industry's professional body... '

The last two paragraphs are where my interest lies and immediately after reading them I felt warrented futher investigation.

If a PR practitioner and academic says that Clifford is not a PR practitioner at all but a publicist, but another PR practitioner can say that he is, and is to be respected at that, then who is correct? what is the difference between a percieved publicist and an accepted practitioner?

Well although I had a fairly good idea as to what conclusions I may uncover I was not prepared for how little has actually been written on this subject. Perhaps it is fear of libel, or perhaps fear of a drop in reputation.

Whatever the reason I does not make sense to me.

But kudos to Philip Young - and after all surely the whole point of blogs is the free airing of opinion and information that can (and should) be used to suppliment our continuing education that is so very necessary in the world of PR?

07 February, 2006

Work experience before you graduate; it always pays off

Excellent advise from Blake Barbera, not only does doing as many work placements as humanely possible give you a fantastic oppotunity to work in the field it boosts your CV, an when it comes to writing your dissertation you will have already people to interview, as well as bounce ideas off.

I have found that the best way to gain work experience in the UK, especially london is to email your chosen office direct. I was often advised to write to the offices but an email is quick, and to the point. This shows that you appreciate that they may be busy. If no one responds to your email, and you are a bit brave, call them!

I actually got my current placement by just showing up at the offices! Although I would not say this works often. Any other tips?

Hurrah I am Super Girl!

I got this from Stuart Bruces site - very good and I particually like the picture!

Your results:
You are Supergirl

Wonder Woman



The Flash




Iron Man

Green Lantern


Lean, muscular and feminine.
Honest and a defender of the innocent.
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Behind the Spin Article - I am published!

Today I finally get my hands on the finished and printed Behind the Spin Magazine. For those unaware of it, BtS is a CIPR magazine exclusively for PR students. I am not a member of the CIPR for reasons that I shall go into later, but they have printed my article of mine in the latest edition (number 12). Which will go wonderfully in my portfolio, and also give me a little satifation of something achieved.

The article title is 'Cooling the Flame - exploring why teenage girls smoke- and apparently takes up a few pages. I have not yet seen a copy but will have one by this afternoon (although those who have seen it say it is very good - but my own standads are somewhat higher.)

For those interested in reading it, it is only avalible to CIPR students, but there has been a copy posted on the Behind the Spin website avalible to everyone.