Name: Hannah Kelly-Price
University: The University of the West of England
Course: Journalism & Public Relations
Why did you choose to study PR?
Honestly, studying PR is the best whim I’ve ever taken. I was nearing the end of my A Level studies and needed to make a final decision on either going to University, or leaving school and hopping straight into the workplace from Sixth Form. A friend of mine was studying journalism & public relations at UWE and I had heard vague snippets of what the course entailed through her social media accounts – I thought it sounded fascinating and it coincided almost-perfectly with prior work experience I had already done. After various emails with module leaders at UWE, I decided to take my chances and apply!
I’ve begun to understand that all communications disciplines work closely together
What has your course involved?
It has involved me gaining an open mind. When I started my degree in journalism and public relations my hope was to accomplish a more defined understanding of what specific sector I wanted to work towards. I’m relieved that the exact opposite has happened. From studying PR and journalism together I’ve begun to understand that all communications disciplines work closely together. So, instead of narrowing my search, my studies have actually broadened it, which has given me such an array of options and an open mind as I continue my second year and go on into my third. Learning to adapt to sometimes-unforeseen circumstances when you’re working within any form of communication sector is crucial as these disciplines are relentlessly altering (or at least they should be) in order to mimic the continual adaptation of human communication.
What has been the most interesting aspect of studying PR?
Public relations is a kaleidoscopic field. Through my studies I have begun to realise that the industry in which I am aspiring to become a part of is in constant development. Most, if not all people working within the PR sector can see that it’s that of a changing one. (I have written a few blog posts on this here) Due to this, practitioners have to become all-rounders, which I think is an exciting possibility that should be embraced rather than feared. By learning and developing new skills we can better our profession for our clients and ourselves.
Will you do a year in industry placement?
Unfortunately my course doesn’t offer a year of industry placement. I am currently in the process of emailing PR firms across the UK with the hope of gaining an internship placement for the summer.
I’m always on the lookout for new opportunities.
Have you any other PR experience?
Prior to university, I didn’t know what career path I wanted to embark on. This led me to hopping on the train in Bristol and heading up to London for several short internships with various companies including VEVO, Bauer Media and Starcom MediaVest. During that time, I realised that gaining experience in this field is a necessity. I am a contributor to PRexamples.com, which is brilliant fun. Rich Leigh is the founder of the site and he’s fantastic. I’ve also set up my own student PR blog– quite literally is the ramblings of a PR student. In the coming months I will be working alongside a Bristol-based charity on one of their animal welfare campaigns. I’m always on the lookout for new opportunities.
What are your aspirations for after university?
I’m in my second year of university now, so with third year fast approaching I have begun that daunting thought process of ‘life after uni’. I would ideally like to accomplish a masters degree, after that I intend on going to as many interviews as humanly possible in order to continue my PR journey of which I have thoroughly enjoyed so far!
Who is your PR inspiration?
My PR inspiration is Gini Dietrich. I fell slightly in awe of her after reading her book ‘Spin Sucks’ (if you haven’t already, you should buy it and read it). I love her ability to seemingly perceive the future of PR. Her blog, also named ‘Spin Sucks’ is overflowing with content useful for every person studying PR, considering studying PR, or already working within PR. Not only is regular content uploaded, it’s also so relevant to current issues and the future of marketing and public relations.
you can get a sense of someone’s writing style from their tweets
Which PR blogs, news sites and websites do you read?
Along with spinsucks.com, other really useful websites and blogs include: prexamples.com, wadds.co.uk, prdaily.com, behindthespin.com and prweek.com. Also, Twitter is a brilliant tool for keeping up-to-date with PR-related news and discovering new blogs to follow – you can get a sense of someone’s writing style from their tweets which can also give you a decent indication to their blogging style.
Read until your eyes burn
What are your tips for A level students considering a PR degree?
Read until your eyes burn and talk to people! Read everything you can get your hands on. I highly recommend following student PR blogs because you can then get a real sense of the field from people who are likely to have not-so-dissimilar understandings of PR to you. If you do choose to study PR then reading student blogs regularly will almost always provide you with talking points when it comes to seminars. When it comes to networking you have to be willing to put yourself out there. Whilst it’s important not to forget the power of a ‘real’ conversation, let’s face the reality of the fact that we are living in the digital era. So, use social media to create conversations with professionals and ask questions. You never know who you will meet along the way or what opportunities that initial conversation could lead to.