28 June, 2006

"Who said protest was futile?!"

Andrew Wake, one of the organisers of the CIPR Northern Conference, has just left a comment on one of my other posts saying:

CIPR have now approved 10 student places at £25 on a first come first served basis so anyone interested needs to e-mail us (andrew@dontpanicprojects.com) or give us a call on 01706 828855.

Who said protest was futile?!

I thought I would highlight it and look forward to meeting anyone who applies.

To get a job... or not?

Like many in my position I am pondering whether to get a summer job.

You know the type, a bar job or waitressing. Something with very little reponsibility that will pay me weekly and keep me sweet until the grown up job of my dreams arrives.

Now I will need something that will allow me to go to interviews, attend the conference and my H&K day and graduation weekend. If I do get a job that starts straight away I will need to be able to ditch rubbish job fairly quickly - a week or so's notice.

It's a pretty tall order really. But I reckon it will keep me out of harms way and maybe I'll be able to afford a holiday at the end of the summer? A holiday....

27 June, 2006

CIPR Northern Conference

It seems that some people were listening when I posted about the CIPR Northern Conference and other PR events seemingly shunning students and young PR personnel with their ridiculously high prices.

Within a few days I had received an email from Andrew and Nicky of Don't Panic, offering me the chance to attend the conference for free, which I though as very interesting. Of course I took them up straight away and will therefore be attending on the 6th. So big thank yous to them.

I am really looking forward to going. I do, of course, have to earn my ticket to a certain extent through working the reception a bit and shuffling various delegates about. But I get to attend all the keynote speeches and three workshops. So if you are attending I shall see you there.

I wonder whether they will be extending similar offers to other students? I reckon that if they really want some good publicity they should offer a free spot to one or two students that ask every time.

Or maybe even have a student conference?

Hmm ... I feel an idea or two coming on...

Email me if you are interested in the idea of a student and Fledgling PR conference.

23 June, 2006

Lunacy of the job seekers!

At this time of the year there is a certain graduate panic that takes hold, and some people will apply for any job with PR in the title. This is lunacy. For example I was talking to a recruitment consultant this morning who's client is in the financial PR arena. He said that most of the applicants he had phoned regarding this job were unaware of what was involved with that industry, despite having applied for a job in it!

Now these are not just PR grads. Apparently PR is the industry du jour amongst grads, a bit like finance in the eighties and advertising in the nineties.

The PR industry at this level is highly competitive and I love the fact that so many people are interested in pursuing a career in PR from so many different backgrounds and are accepted.

But a lot of the people who are applying with no real clue will learn quickly that PR is not for everyone and that you have to research each of your job applications thoroughly before you apply, so you are not caught out.

Another Graduate day!!

Hurrah upon hurrahs, I have another training day with Hill and Knowlton this time.

Hill and Knowlton was recommended to me as a graduate scheme by my boss at Genius Creative PR.
The reason why I am so up on graduate training schemes is purely based upon the training aspect. I may have left university but I certainly don't know it all and would hope that this is merely the end of one section of my learning process, not the entire.

I know that a lot of my fellow grads are unsure of what will be expected of then in various sectors, despite university training. Graduate training schemes are very good for people who are interested in many different aspects of public relations and therefore can't commit to a specific sector (as they all sound so good). But also give you a chance to understand better exactly what is required from each sector through actually living it from day to day for periods of time. This added to fast track options and other perks I don't see why everyone doesn't apply!

So thank you to the Hill and Knowlton people and wish me luck for the 19th July.

12 June, 2006

Pass the PR love to the protégés...

Wow it has been about a month since I last posted! I must break these bad habits before they become a problem.

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?