Launch of new online part-time MSc in PR and Media Management!

We’re delighted to announce the launch of MMU’s new part-time online Masters in PR aimed at busy PR professionals. The new course MSc in PR and Media Management will start in September 2014 and will be delivered through innovative online interactive webinars which means that practitioners can take the course from anywhere in the UK – or beyond! Practitioners can either take the full Masters or start off with a Postgraduate Certificate in PR and Digital Communications which only takes 8 months to gain.

A big thank you to the MMU PR teaching team for all their hard work in creating this new course. The official press release is below plus links to the new course web pages… if you know any PR practitioners who might be interested, do pass along the information!

 

New PR MSc launched to help boost careers

Learn from the comfort of home or office

A flexible MSc degree in Public Relations and Media Management for students to learn from the comfort of their own home or office has been launched by Manchester Metropolitan University Business School.

The course is designed for busy PR professionals aiming to enhance their career within the PR industry and learn in their own time.

Course content offers the opportunity for people to gain new PR and digital communications skills with a range of affordable study options – from shorter Postgraduate Certificates to the full MSc degree – anywhere in the UK.

Live weekly webinars will be hosted by experienced MMU PR professionals, with students able to interact with fellow classmates and tutors via video links. Each course unit also features two Foundation Days at the University’s new £75million Business School.

Flexible learning

All webinar-based lectures and accompanying materials can be replayed and studied after the live sessions, providing even greater flexibility for learning to fit around people’s busy lives.

The course also offers students full access to the University’s resources as well as the ability to meet and network with fellow professionals, guest speakers and the academic team.

Dr Jane Tonge, course leader, said: “It really is an innovative course, offering true flexible learning for students who can go at their own pace. It gives people from anywhere in the country the chance to pick up new qualifications and is tailored to meet their needs.

“The online course is unique and allows people to interact with our experienced lecturers, all with PR and digital industry backgrounds. We believe this is a completely new way to study, giving students new freedoms and interactivity plus weekly interaction with expert tutors to guide you every step of the way.

Enhance your PR career

“It has been designed for PR professionals who want to combine a busy working life with a flexible part-time course, and allows them to step on and off the course while gaining interim qualifications which will enhance their career prospects.”

PR professionals who have a CIPR diploma already hold one third of the masters and can be fast-tracked.

The course would suit practitioners whose initial qualifications do not include PR, those looking for a focus on digital communications or who are seeking to progress to a more strategic PR management role. It will also suit other communications professionals.

The first two units can be done in eight months, earning students a Postgraduate Certificate, while a further eight months study earns a Postgraduate Diploma. Students can stop and start the course when they want, picking up more qualifications as they progress.

Course webpages:

MSc Public Relations and Media Management http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/2014/11308/

PG Certificate Public Relations and Digital Communicationshttp://www2.mmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/2014/11309/

News link: http://www.mmu.ac.uk/news/news-items/2515/

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.

PR industry awards – what are they for?

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be presenting one of the prizes at the CIPR PRide North-West awards dinner at Old Trafford.

It was a fantastic evening celebrating the best of current PR practice in the area, and it was especially good to see two of our MMUBS MScPR alumni up on the stage as part of award-winning PR teams: Anna Varley Jones, Account Manager at Weber Shandwick, and Paul Hadfield, Senior Account Manager at Havas PR, whose agencies were respectively Gold and Silver winners for Outstanding Agency of the Year.

Our long-term supporter Brian Beech of Havas PR was also honoured as Outstanding PR Professional, and it was good to meet so many of our former students in the audience as well!

The determined and dignified long-term campaigning of Margaret Aspinall, chair of Hillsborough Families for Justice, was recognised with the Communicator of the Year award; a lot of money was raised for Mind – all round an enjoyable, professional and worthy event. What’s not to like, you might have thought?

Well, just this. I can’t be the only PR person who has heard industry awards regarded with a certain amount of cynicism. “Just a lot of back-slapping, isn’t it? It’s just about PR industry luvvies and rainmakers giving awards to their mates to keep the wheels turning.” And it’s not just from hard-bitten journalists that I’ve heard these views: sometimes it’s been from non-PR Chief Execs who should know better.

So what ARE industry awards worth? The answer is that they’re as good as the judges, the judging criteria and the governance of the process. In the case of the CIPR PRide awards, it’s about clear criteria which are firmly linked to the professional body’s drive to improve professional standards. And the national CIPR, who administer the scheme, make sure not just that the judging is impartial, but that it is seen to be impartial, by randomising the judging process. PR professionals in the North West area who put up their hands to join the judging panel find themselves allocated entries from a different, geographically distant area of the UK to judge. The awards have to be judged on careful debate about the merits of the campaigns alone – it’s the only information the judges have available.

Yes, awards schemes can become little more than an industry junket and a bit of self-congratulation – but used wisely and well, they have a genuine role to play in improving professional standards for PR teams and driving CPD for individual practitioners. An educational role, in other words.

So yes, I enjoy a bit of of glitz and glamour as much as the next person – but that’s the real reason I value my experience as a PR awards judge, and why I’ll be putting my hand up again for the job next time around.

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.

Cosmo Careers

Hello everyone,

Last night I attended the Cosmo Careers Masterclass in Manchester. It was for people interested in working in fashion, whether it be designing, PR, journos etc…. So I met some fab people & saw loads of fabulous outfits!

On arrival we had champagne and mingled with everyone for half an hour. Then we were taken into the lecture theatre where we saw an amazing panel of: the Cosmo editor, a designer for Missguided, a buyer of luxury labels, a PR from BooHoo, a fashion journalist who is known for her Catwalk to Curvy column in Cosmo and finally, a PR from Gorgeous Couture. We also saw out fabulous goody bags laid out ready for us (see pictures below).

The talk began with the panel introducing themselves and then editor Louise asked the panel a series of questions which would give the audience some great insights into the industry and their best advice and tips. We were given insights into where they began and how they worked their way up, tips for CV writing, interviews…. A whole raft of information. It was all so inspiring!

At the end of the session, they opened up for the floor for half an hour so that we could ask them any questions we may have. This was great and made the session really personal.

Even though some of the information given didn’t directly apply to my field of PR (if it was a design question for example), it didn’t matter! You could apply a lot of the information to the PR field anyway and it was valuable to get an insight into the fashion industry as a whole too.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable night which ended with the opportunity to walk up to the panel at the end of the session for any final questions. One of the main bits of personal advice that has stuck with me is to always be open to learning new things. I think sometimes when you are going to interview, you feel like you need to know everything, where in reality- you don’t! The industry is constantly changing so there is no way that you will ever know it all.

Definitely keep an eye out for future Cosmo Careers events- you meet a fantastic panel, people and walk away with some priceless advice!

Thanks for reading,
Saffron xo

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