Name: Mollie Robinson
University: Leeds Beckett University
Course: Public Relations and Communication
LinkedIn: Mollie Robinson
Why did you choose to study PR?
It was actually a friend of mine who advised me to consider a career in public relations. They said my persona and characteristics leant themselves to the industry. I didn’t know much about PR at this point so I took to the internet to do some scoping. My research led me to understand that the essence of PR is building and maintaining positive relationships. I love working with people and consider myself rather good at it! In addition, PR is applicable to so many industries and its career prospects are extensive. For someone who has many interests, this was ideal and enticing!
What has your course involved?
The Public Relations and Communications course that Leeds Beckett offers is great; thorough, comprehensive and varied. The course offers largely theory based modules such as social psychology and internal communication, but is mainly practical. During my time at Leeds Beckett University studying Public Relations and Communication, I have held numerous placements, delivered many presentations and written addresses, participated in a crisis simulation and worked with a range of real-life clients.
What has been the most interesting aspect of studying PR?
For me personally, the most interesting aspect of PR has to be the psychology of communication. I found the issues and crisis management module and the different theoretical concepts surrounding crises reaction fascinating. There’s more to in it than meets the eye with crisis management and it’s an area of PR I am interested in pursuing at some point in my career.
I have worked in a number of agencies, companies and freelanced in my three years at university.
Have you any PR experience?
For each year of my course, I have been required to submit a portfolio of work. As such, I have had to seek placement opportunities. I have worked in a number of agencies, companies and freelanced in my three years at university. I have worked on accounts in a number of different sectors including retail and leisure, health and cosmetics, motoring and sporting, and charity, just to name a few.
What are your aspirations for after university?
I’m not entirely sure what I would like to do after university but I think it would be valuable for me to spend a sustained amount of time in a PR role. The placements I have held thus far have been short-term. I’d really like to get under the skin of a company or an agency and its clients for a prolonged period of time. Working in public relations will enable me to build skills that are transferable to a lot of different roles. I think this is a good place for me to start while I consider my next career move.
I find Richard Bailey’s blog, Behind the Spin, a good read.
Which PR blogs, news sites and websites do you read?
I find Richard Bailey’s blog, Behind the Spin, a good read. Much like PR Careers, it provides different insights into people experiences and interpretations of PR. It’s interesting to hear people’s views and opinions and compare them to your own. I also enjoy following BuzzFeed. I feel that the site presents topical news stories with an air of entertainment by offering a variation of visuals, quizzes, lists and videos that its audience can engage with. Lastly, PR Examples is a good place to go for inspiration, and a chuckle from time to time. It celebrates the best in PR and social media marketing and is a hub of insight and entertainment.
Let the news come to you by setting up alerts on your phone and subscribing to your favourite news desks.
What are your tips for A level students considering a PR degree?
1. Invest your time into acquiring and fulfilling placements. The skills, understanding and knowledge that you acquire will enhance your ability to succeed on your course. There are certain aspects of PR that cannot be taught. In addition, placements will prepare you for the real world and catch the attention of employers.
2. Write, a lot. Practice your writing so that you become able to convey a story concisely and succinctly. A blog is a good way to do this. Not only will blogs aid you in enhancing your writing style, but they show a heightened level of interest and commitment to tutors and employers. Blogging is something that I really enjoy but don’t do enough of!
3. Become a news-junkie. Being news knowledgeable is central to succeeding in PR, and in this day and age there is no excuse for not being completely up-to-date. Let the news come to you by setting up alerts on your phone and subscribing to your favourite news desks. If you’ve the time, try and read new stories from different publications to get a handle on the different positions of varying publications and gain a comprehensive understanding of a news story.