Timeless - Digital Magazine
The digital magazine we had to produce proved challenging. Without a clear example of what kinds of content we had to produce, we went for content for print, which is much different than the digital content needed. Engaging content is different for every platform, for online platforms, such as our digital magazine, the content needs to be brief, to the point, and the main point needs to be re-enforced throughout the whole text. The challenges of digital communication are definitely the attention span of the reader, as it is shorter than if they were reading print, and finding a story or an angle that is attention capturing. However, on the other side of the coin, you can create fun digital content that carries the same message through different platforms but is presented in ways unique to each platform (text for blog, boomerangs for Instagram, short videos for Facebook, stories for Snapchat, etc.).
Meet the Industry
I was not a fan of the Thursday lunchtime sessions, at first, however, after Shelly Spector came to speak, my interest peaked. She was the first one who opened my eyes to how down to earth the industry actually is, that it is hard work and not all glamour. This view has been re-enforced by many of the following guest speakers. What stands out most to me is how relatable most of the speakers are, they are genuinely here to help us through our journey. One of my fears coming into this course was that PR would turn out to be as glamorized as it seems from the outside, seeing the guests that come on Thursdays, calmed my fears down, as they make the job seem tough but rewarding.
Ethics in PR and where PR is heading
PR is a difficult field to define, and so, it is also difficult to predict its future, however, from what I’ve learned so far, the future of PR looks a lot like its present – a lot of mystique around what PR practitioners actually do, however, there is a trend towards a more structure way of work. With young PR practitioners realizing the impact that PR has on people’s lives, it will become more ethical. While it is very unlikely that a law will be passed about licensing PR practitioners, I feel they should be, both to be held liable to a higher institution, but to also be protected by this same institution. Overall, because of the theoretical classes and the practical exercises PR has revealed itself more to me; I am now able to distinguish the work of PR practitioners, know what contents to create for certain campaigns and audiences, and what to look for when positioning a brand in a new field.
Understanding of PR
Close to the end of the second term, my understanding of what PR is and what it entails, is much greater. I have a good grasp on what will be expected of me once I graduate, what PR looks like as a field, what my future job will look like, and the theoretical background that PR practice is based on. The most satisfying part of this course is being able to apply the theory into practice. What I found out about communication from the practical exercises we have done is how greatly it varies depending on the context – who you are speaking to, what situation you are speaking in, etc. The way you communicate something to your friend in a chat message varies greatly to the way you communicate this same thing in a more serious setting, for example. The practical classes greatly helped me achieve this differentiation.
Mind - Press Conference
The press conference was an amazing experience, because we got to experience a real-life situation in a safe space. However, through the process of creating the campaign and writing the press releases and setting up the conference, I was able to more clearly define PR for myself. It is a good mix of creativity and hard work. At the end it definitely felt very rewarding. One of the most difficult things that we had to figure out was what media to contact. The differences between social media, and the different types, newspapers, radio, and TV, became very clear. What I also found out was that traditional media still has a very important place in setting agendas – but it depends on who the target group is and what the agenda is. For example mainstream media has helped out both US and Russian elections, however, after one of the latest school shootings in Florida, teenagers stared calling out the mainstream media. Therefore, the role of mainstream media is definitely changing, but it still has a huge impact.