Archive for April, 2007

Are you a PR Darling?

April 27, 2007

PR degree or not, one thing the industry can universally agree upon is that your usefulness (and therefore pay packet) depends heavily on who you know, where you met them and whether they can help you. Networking has been for far too long solely focused on journalist ‘schmoozing’. Although knowledge of who writes the relevant columns for your client is essential, graduates coming into the industry can hardly be expected to pitch up to the various business editors on the national newspapers and get the cheque book out!

More than anything they don’t have the time to waste, and neither do you – Those media lists won’t build themselves!

When we were setting up the PR and Communications Network on Facebook we wanted to quash the stereotype that all PR’s were after an airkissing night out, something we apparently share with – http://www.prdarlings.com/. I’m unconvinced about the offer of a free tee-shirt, however! We don’t offer free items of clothing, we can’t promise love [although some of us live in hope!]…. But we’d love to see you at the PR and Comms drinks at Bar Polski on May 17th.

Passion and the press release

April 27, 2007

So, I could give it all the pseudo-intellectual waffle you want, but there are plenty of blogs much more willing [and qualified] to do so. I know that the vast majority of you are young, footloose and fancy free. Thus it follows, that to paraphrase Jane Austen for the 21st century, a young PR with a good job must surely be in want of a partner.

Now we’ve all read [and in some cases doubtless written] those stories about the huge proportions of people who meet their beaus at work. But, I hear you cry, PR is full of women? Well this does form something of a stumbling block for all the fresh faced femme fatales lurking around the junior ranks of PR week’s Power 150, but presents something of a boon for those lucky chaps. I have a feeling that numerical challenges aside, romance can flourish over a regional release, however.

But is the office relationship really the wrong step it is so often portrayed? After all, think of the positives.:

  • Identical salary expectations [None of that complaining about the lack of a great holiday]
  • Similar interests [You both wanted to read newspapers for a living at any rate]
  • Lots of time together [Some might say too much as you get to watch the cleaners come in together]
  • Great social skills [Erm….]

Of course there are the inevitable pitfalls, such as your post break-up meltdown impacting upon your performance review, but hey…

Thankfully my bachelor days are but a hazy memory, but to all you young bloods keen to scrabble up both the career ladder and catch cupid’s arrow, perhaps you’re neglecting the wealth of talent hidden behind your status report?

The Champagne Lifestyle? Drinks 1 & 2 – A Review

April 22, 2007

Held at Bar Polski (Holborn) and The Ship and Shovel (Charing Cross), our first two drinks have been pleasantly successful evenings with around 50-60 people attending from a wide range of PR disciplines and backgrounds.

Described by one eager Graduate trainee as “Freshers’ Week for PR’s”, the drinks have worked well, because everyone is at roughly the same stage of their career with similar stories to share and often similar frustrations. “If I have to do one more forward features list…” and “how do they expect me to live on this money….” were regular conversation starters!

Held after work the drinks have forged a few friendships, organised a few lunches and for certain lucky individuals even created a few dates. Perhaps the best thing about the PR and Comms drinks so far, is that the people that have attended the events haven’t been the usual ‘networking’ types. No one is looking to ‘work the room’ or play the business card game.

It’s just lots of people, working in similar job, in the same industry having a few drinks after work.

Long may it continue!

[Check out what other people had to say too, here and here.]

Spreading the love…

April 22, 2007

We’re all lovely people in PR.

[No really.]

It’s because of this that we like to get together for drinks [see below!], and equally we want to use this blog to give an opportunity for young UK PRs to discuss some of the lengthier issues that might not fit on a Facebook wall. there are already some great sites out there doing this internationally, but as we all know, the UK is special, in every sense of the word.

PR is no exception, and the distinctive nature of the UK industry has recently been demonstrated in te discussions, sparked by PR Week, of the merits of grads with PR degrees against those [like me] without industry specific qualifications. This would doubtless be a far less contentious issue ‘the other side of the pond’, where there is a different tradition and attitude toward communications qualifications.

Most of the debate has centred around those with PR specific degrees having a better insight and understanding of the job when they sign on the dotted line marked JAE/Grad trainee. Consequently [or so the argument goes] they have a better attitude, and are more likely to stick it out through their years at the industry’s grubby coal face.

But surely this is missing the point? What is really under examination is how people approach their first years working the sector’s numerous dark tunnels and shafts? Undoubtedly knowing what you’re getting yourself into is a valuable asset [for employee as much as employer], but isn’t it work experience rather than any number of lectures which will provide this sort of context?

We’d suggest the discussion might be better conducted around what value is attached to experience, rather than your chosen degree.

Welcome All

April 22, 2007

So, you’ve come over from the Facebook group to take a look…or perhaps you’ve never seen the group, and this is your first visit to our gathering…either way we hope you find something useful, thought provoking, or just plain interesting.

Check out our ‘about’ for more info, but we aim to bring together young PR professionals, or those looking to join the industry, and perhaps have some fun while we’re at it.

We’re going to answer some often asked questions, discuss items of interest, and help you get to know each other better.

But never fear, we’re not taking ourselves too seriously with this, and it won’t all be the ‘Alex and Alain show’. If you’d like to get involved, either writing for the blog, or being profiled, do get in touch at PRandCommsnetwork@gmail.com.

Phew! That out of the way, let’s get down to some proper business…