Name: Lauren Johnstone
University: University of the Arts London – London College of Communication
Course: Public Relations
Why did you choose to study PR?
After studying fashion journalism for a year at The University for the Creative Arts, I realised I desired to be on the other side of table and chose to make the bold move of leaving that course and joining Public Relations at LCC. I have always loved writing and connecting with people so what better career to choose than PR.
What has your course involved?
The course has involved a lot of aspects of the PR industry. Ranging from reputation management through to social media, it has provided us with the skills needed to enter the industry. The best part of this course has to be the PR masterclasses that take place weekly. Hearing from influential industry insiders is the key to success as it allows you to hear from an unbiased perspective and also lets you create connections on a personal basis.
Studying PR makes you realise that you cannot fully learn PR within the classroom
What has been the most interesting aspect of studying PR?
The most interesting aspect has to be the connections I’ve made and people I’ve met along to way. Studying PR makes you realise that you cannot fully learn PR within the classroom, you have to immerse yourself into what you’re passionate about and take every opportunity you can.
I have taken every spare moment I have to build my portfolio and take on internships
Did you do a year in industry placement?
I unfortunately didn’t have a placement year, but in hindsight would have loved one. Instead, I have taken every spare moment I have to build my portfolio and take on internships. I started at luxury jewellery brand Asprey and worked my way up having just left a start-up fashion app as PR manager. As I said previously, work experience is the most important thing you can do whilst studying. It allows you to get the true experience of PR, learn how to build rapport with clients and finally give you the contacts needed when you eventually enter the real world.
What are your aspirations for after university?
Aspirations are very different to realistic goals. My aspiration or dream is to own a blogger agency to help raise creative minds even higher. My realistic goals are to work my way up in PR at one of my favourite fashion brands
Who is your PR inspiration?
Kelly Cutrone – absolute fashion PR badass and ultimate role model.
I find following influential people in the industry on Twitter is the quickest and best way to find the latest news
Which PR blogs, news sites and websites do you read?
PR Week is my go-to for PR coverage. However, I find following influential people in the industry on Twitter is the quickest and best way to find the latest news. My favourites are Sarah Stimson (obviously) [Ed – ha, thanks Lauren!] and Richard Bailey who is forever encouraging the pursuit of my blog.
What are your tips for A level students considering a PR degree?
Only study a degree if you’re truly passionate about the subject. From personal experience at my last university, there is nothing worse than attending a course everyday that you have no joy in. University isn’t all fun and games and there will be times when you hate it but if you combine your studies with hobbies or activities that will in turn support your career then you are setting yourself up for great success.