Update Wed 11 December – tonight’s Get PRofessional guest lecture cancelled due to illness

Update Wed 11 December – We’re so sorry to announce that tonight’s planned Get PRofessional guest lecture is CANCELLED as speaker Nyree Hughes is unwell.

Better news is that we hope to announce a rescheduled date shortly as part of a full programme of guest lectures for Term 2 2013 14.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you Nyree, and wish you a swift recovery

Launch of Get PRofessional Guest Lecture series 2014 on Wed 22 January – B2B PR with Fritzi Wemheuer of Judge & Howard

It’s ‘New Year, New Start’ for MMU PR’s Get PRofessional Guest Lecture series as it relaunches with a series of six lectures for 2014.

First topic this year is an insight into the specialism of B2B PR on Wednesday 22 January 2014. Introducing PR students to the field is Fritzi Wemheuer, Senior Consultant at Judge & Howard.

She’ll be telling them about the joys, the challenges and what it takes to succeed, covering some ‘stories from the coalface’ as well as giving insider information on the specific skills which are needed for a career in B2B PR.

Fritzi is a German national who joined Judge & Howard, the UK’s Outstanding Small Consultancy in 2012. Previously she was at global creative agency Gyro, where she worked on a wide range of national and international accounts across PR, strategy and digital content.

Before moving to the UK to pursue a career in communications, and following the completion of her Master’s degree, she worked in engineering and technology research and as a technical writer and translator. She is also a member of the CIPR North-West Group Committee.

The talk is at 5.30 p.m. in Lecture Theatre G34, MMU Business School, and is open to all current PR students and staff at MMU Business School.> Other upcoming dates and speakers in the series are:

Wed 5 February 2014 Nyree Hughes – PR and Social Media Manager, Access Advertising

Wed 26 February 2014 Erin Portsmouth, Head of Communications and Engagement, NHS South Chorley and South Ribble CGC/NHS Greater Preston CGC

Wed 12 March 2014 Paul Hadfield, Havas PR

Wed 26 March 2014 Jo Leah, Managing Director, Weber Shandwick

Wed 2 April 2014 Professional skills workshop 1: PR job search masterclass

Christmas Meal

A big thank you to members of the MSc PR course and tutors who came for a fantastic evening at Don Giovannis. An even bigger thank you to Diana for organising it- such a shame you couldn’t attend!

With this term coming to an end, it was a key time to reflect on the progress that the course has given us and to consider how far we’ve come in just a few months.

I am sure I speak for my peers when I say that the content of the course next term seems just as engaging. Having had a brief on what to expect, our studies after Christmas seem more practical and varied. As well as this, initial work for students’ dissertations will begin, giving us the chance to go into depth in what we feel really passionate about.

Again, thanks to everyone who joined us last night for food, drinks, chats, laughs and more laughs! I wish everyone a very merry Christmas and let’s see what 2014 brings us…

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Are you attending next week’s Get PRofessional?

Wednesday 11th December, sees the last of our Get PRofessional guest lectures for 2013. Join us for networking with coffee and mince pies from 5.15pm outside G34 in the New Business School.

The guest speaker will be Nyree Hughes, who is PR and social media manager at Access Advertising and she will be talking about “Working in a multi-service agency: the role of a PR and digital media specialist.”

Working in public relations doesn’t mean a choice between a PR department in-house in a large organisation or a PR-only agency – it’s equally likely to involve being a PR specialist in a multi-service agency in which advertising, PR, digital and marketing experts work together to give clients an integrated communications service.

This lecture, which should be especially relevant for final year BA Advertising and PR students, offers an insight into this area of work from Nyree Hughes, a PR practitioner with 10 years’ experience who runs a small PR department at Access Advertising, a marketing agency based at Old Trafford.    Nyree is also a fellow MMU student, as she is currently studying an MA in Design as well as running community engagement programmes.

We hope to see lots of you in attendance.

Rise of the PR Graduate

At last, according to this article by Anne Gregory, The Days of the Glorious Amateur are Over, our industry employers are starting to see the value of PR graduates.

I have, for several years, been extremely frustrated to read features in PR Week that harp on about how PR Graduates are unnecessary to industry, while at the same time I receive countless requests for good PR graduates from employers, and read studies from academics such as Alison Theaker that track the meteoric career rise of PR graduates in the US compared with their non-cognate colleagues.

Europe, and specifically Britain, at last appear to have cottoned on to the incredible fact that studying a subject for several years of your life might actually make you better prepared to fulfil the requirements of your work than not doing so – amazing!!

Progress at last… and very good news for our graduates at MMU.

Managing A Multi Channel Crisis Response

MMU Business School hosted this recent CIPR North West event which attracted senior practitioners from across the region and students enrolled on the MSc Public Relations programme.

So what is a multi channel crisis response? Amanda Coleman, Head of Communications for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) was happy to translate this into Plain English – a multi channel crisis response quite simply involves the integrated use of social media. ‘Quite simply’ however comes with a caveat. Although the GMP’s use of digital communications may appear to be seamless, their position today reflects three years of work to achieve the organisational buy-in to liberate staff throughout the organisation to engage in online conversations. Over 300 frontline staff across GMP now use Twitter and Facebook to plug into local communities. Officers are expected to communicate through these mediums in the same way they would any other. Transgressions therefore reflect problems with recruitment rather than the channel itself.

In 2011 during the London Riots, the first questions about whether these would extend to Manchester were posted on Twitter. The GMP was keen to establish themselves as a trusted voice which meant they had to be transparent and engage honestly and openly in online conversations.  The payback was immense – GMP could access what Coleman describes succintly as a Virtual Homewatch  – 24/7/nanosecond – as people in Manchester posted images and reported incidents online. GMP attracted over 100,000 twitter followers during the disorder which they have since worked hard to maintain.

Coleman suggests that PR practitioners should:

  1. Understand the channels they are using and why
  2. Not wait for a crisis to prompt the use of social media
  3. Invest in time, a team and technology
  4. Keep in touch
  5. Evaluate – don’t just monitor

The advice from the session is stark – organisations need to be networked ahead of any crisis so that they are already engaged when an emergency is triggered.