I read a brilliant article on PR Week today explaining how important it is for PR’s to make sure they get that crucial ‘PR pitch’ right.
It is important not to pass the pitching role over to your interns because you think you don’t have time, as in a PR role this is one of the most crucial parts. Journalists are looking for good stories, so make sure you take the time to look into their needs, the publication purpose and audience, read the journalists past features and fit a story together for them. It is important that your clients stories and news fits the publications you are pitching to – be selective, there is nothing worse than trying to sell a story in at mass. Also, make sure that your story is timely, fits with current news or developments and is of relevance to the publications readers. A great tool is to help assist with this is Gorkana or the free website called Journalisted.com.
PR Executives, I recommend reading this feature on PR Week which includes good advice from both PR’s and Journalists.
It worried me to read in Behind the Spin that; “A recent PRCA study revealed that 43% of directors say a Public Relations degree has little impact to employers when recruiting graduates, with 34% saying it makes graduates less attractive. Not the most uplifting of statistics to read.”
I believe that completing a PR degree has pushed me into the working industry, by encouraging students on the Leeds Metropolitan PR course to go out and gain PR experience from day one! In my first year I was recruited in a PR consultancy in my home town for full-time for 4 months. After completing a voluntary position, they saw my determination and work, and offered to pay me to stay on over the summer break. This was an amazing position to be in, straight after my first year of university; one that I dare say many on more academic courses would not have gained. This experience was invaluable.
From then, the course encouraged taking a full-time year placement in industry, and again the skills and confidence gained is what sets any student ready for final year and to graduate and enter the industry. For employers, students who undertake this, like me, have the necessary skills to enter a PR job role and provide knowledge and expertise to even help the company and their projects. Therefore, why wouldn’t employers seeks for students with PR degrees who obviously have always wanted to join the industry, over the more academic subjects which the results above describe.
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.
Last week I have focused on completing my interviews for the ‘Manchester Voices’ pages of the MCR magazine. The two individuals i had to interview were people who had played a large part in the development of the city over the recent years. Initially I knew very little about their roles, therefore before arranging my interviews I had to do my research – otherwise it would be impossible to ask the right questions.
After doing research it is important to take down a set of questions that you plan to ask. These should start by asking the individual about themselves, and fairly easy to ease your interviewee in. I found that the best questions were those which were more ‘open’ questions. It is easier for the interviewee to be lead to answers, and not asked direct questions.
I almost felt in some respects I had taken the role of a journalist… so do these roles sometimes interlink?
I found this link to help with interviewing techniques. Click here! Every time I do more of these, my confidence grows and I develop an understanding on how to manage the interview process. (One of my favourite parts!)
Afterwards, the other fun part is to write the interview up in full! It’s great to see the finish piece.
Having joined Marketing Manchester in September 08, they had only produced their first MCR magazine edition. I was lucky enough to help with editorial for MCR2 as the first stages of the magazine process had been completed, it was a case of helping to finish features and articles.
MCR3 is now ready to go to print, after a long but what seems very quick process of getting it completed! Been able to see all the stages of producing the magazine, I have realised what processes must be accomplished – and it ain’t easy!
Work is now full steam ahead for MCR4 and we had our first editorial meeting today between the press and pr team and leisure marketing. (The two main groups who deal with content, editorial and features) I’m very much looking forward to going through this process again… and seeing what has developed and how I can help the company achieve it’s goals!
Past magazines can be viewed at www.visitmanchester.com