Category Archives: Dissertation

Advice to PR Students for a Dream Dissertation

It is coming to that time of year when PR students start thinking about what else they have to finish on their dissertations… or hat they have to start in some cases. With only a few months left and much research to be finished and analysed, notes to be typed out and checked, bibliography to be finalised, appendices to be organised – the end only seems a million years away. But I promise you not, the day you hand in the 3-inch thick bible will soon come!

I have pulled together a few top tips which I think helped me get through the endless amounts of paper and sleepless nights.

Don’t panic

It is important not to panic about how much time you don’t have, but think about what you have left to do and plan your time around this. Take a deep breathe and think happy thoughts about how good you will feel once you hand your final piece in.

Be organised

I believe that the most important element of getting through your dissertation is to keep organised. You can waste so much time if your papers are not organised or your documents aren’t saved correctly – so as it’s a new year, take a few hours to organise all the work and reflect on what you have done so far. Put it all into files which state what your research is; interviews, questionnaires, discussions, findings, journals etc… Before doing anything else, I assure you that this will help clear your head and put you in the right frame of mind to continue.

Timetable your work

You may find it useful to keep a calendar on your wall where you work, as this lets you see how much time you have left, and helps you section off different periods of work. Draw one up and try to stick to it!

Keep writing

Most of you will still be researching, whether it be primary or secondary, I found that the best way to keep your thoughts was to write it all down. As you read, discuss and interview make sure you are keeping a track of everything. This can be done in the style of a log book or just in your research file – which will help you when you come to writing out your findings.

Talk to professionals

Alongside conducting your dissertation methodology, it may also help if you chat with professionals on your topic. It is classed as part of your research and can still be counted. If you have a placement position, it would be recommended to talk to the team – gage their views, opinions and advice. They may let you in on something you never thought of.

When conducting my research, I used Linkedin to speak with professions around the country about my topic – I even gained a great contact in Spain who helped me find the information I needed. Therefore, use your professional social media tools and engage with people. The other advantage of this is it lets people know what you are doing and allows them to see you working… you never know where this may lead.

Time to check

The worst thing you can do is to not leave enough time to check your work efficiently at the end of writing your 15,000 words. Make sure you leave enough time for this, and ask friends or relatives to read your dissertation through for you – as they will see mistakes you won’t.

It is a difficult process but you will get to the end – Good luck!

After the event is over…

Reputation of South Africa after the World Cup

Recent research explained by PR Week looks into changed perceptions of the host country after the World Cup came to a close. This chart shows people believe that South Africa’s ‘enthusiasm and passion’ was the best thing about the World Cup 2010 – which is a fantastic result for any nation branding teams and their tourism departments.

Sepp Blatter, head of FIFA, world football’s governing body, gave South Africa “nine out of ten” for its performance, saying he would happily back any bid it might now wish to make to host the Olympic Games in 2020 or 2024. The Economist

However, some argue that South Africa was substantial at hosting, but not truly successful. There were empty home stands and also games were not full sold out either. Is this the result of the country or the game organizers themselves? This does put more pressure on FIFA and other sporting events to make the right decision in choosing their host destination in future years.

The costs of holding major sporting events verses the effect on the countries reputation and economic in-put must be examined, as holding these types of events does cost the host country a vast amount. However, as the Economist feature states: “… South Africa will benefit too. It has reaped incalculable marketing gains from the 500m spectators around the world who are reckoned on average to have tuned in to watch each of the 64 matches. Nearly half a million foreign fans visited the country, many for the first time, to watch the tournament.

Perhaps the biggest benefit has been the battered nation’s rise in self-respect. South Africans, white and black, are hugely proud of their achievement.”

There is a lot to consider when pitching for events, acting on them and working to keep the legacy afterwords too. This is all part of nation branding… such a fascinating project!

Leeds City Council Comm’s Audit

There is nothing more valuable than gaining real working projects whilst at university. I recently conducted a Communications Audit for Leeds City Council, and presented the findings to the team.

See link:

http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/lbs/business/news/effective_communication/index.htm

The time is here to get busy…

That’s it now, the placement is over and now I am back at university (with serious jet lag from travelling to Thailand) realising how much work I actually have to do over the next 7-8 months!!

It’s serious times…

I have to start thinking about my dissertation, which i looked a lot into while on placement. You have to use your contacts. Therefore after looking into what I have found most interesting i have decided to focus my thoughts on ‘Destination Branding’ and how PR is used to communicate city brands around the world.

After researching a little i have realised that this is a relatively new topic… may work to my advantage or may not. I need to keep researching to get a grip on this subject.

Let the work begin.