Midlands PRide independent practitioner of the year Stuart Baird has helped teach PR students at Lincoln University over a number of years as well as developing course materials. Following a session earlier this year, six Lincoln students took time to share their thoughts and feelings with him as they take their first steps into ‘real PR’.
All across the country letters are dropping on doormats as students from CIPR recognised university courses find out what three years of study has amounted to.
As they tear open those Degree result envelopes and start planning their graduation parties many will be either already in work or about to take their first steps into the profession.
The University of Lincoln has run PR degrees since 2002. In the academic cycle, A-Level students will be eyeing up the course for September, while the 2018 intake will visit and check out their courses from this summer.
PR course leader Doug Brown said: “Our course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and this close relationship with industry’s main professional body aims to ensure that Lincoln students benefit from training or work placements with potential graduate employers. Many undergraduates walk straight into work from our course.”
Six ‘PR class of 2017’ Lincoln students shared their views about stepping into the world of PR:
The world of PR is moving incredibly fast. Everything comes as a surprise, both pleasant and not-so-pleasant ones. To keep up with the pace, I think it is essential for fresh graduates like me to keep myself on the ball to learn, unlearn, relearn and never stop repeating that process throughout my career.
No fears for me really. I’m actually very excited to take my first steps into the industry.
I think my perceptions of it are going to be that it’s really hectic and so fast paced with deadlines here there and everywhere – and a fear stems off from that that I won’t be able to keep up with the pace of my colleagues!
My fears about entering the PR world are that there will be an issue or crisis and I’ll do something wrong and make it 10 times worse! This is because I’ve set people up for interviews before and the journalist has taken what they’ve said out of context to make headlines.
I’m worried about getting a job, sitting down on the first day and not having a clue what/how to do what I’m asked.
Also, doing a PR degree and finding out a lot of PR jobs now have marketing elements. I worry I won’t be equipped to deal with the marketing side of things.
As I’m about to venture into the public relations industry I’m filled with different emotions but mainly excitement. The communications industry is very promising and the creative possibilities are endless with the rise of new media.
The PRCA 2016 Census statistics disappointed me as it highlighted the lack of diversity with 91 per cent of PR practitioners being white and the £9,000 pay gap between men and women, although 64 per cent are women. However, the statistics showed growth in the industry, with a £12.9bn value as its worth has increased by over £3bn since the 2013 figures.
I fear that the industry will continue to lack in diversity however I’m positive that this will not be the case with foundations such as Taylor Bennet offering a range of programmes to encourage BAME graduates to pursue careers in public relations.
It seems to me that PR as an industry is still deciding where it fits, which makes it difficult to tell others what it is that we do. But because PR is so versatile and adaptable, I’m not sure the industry will ever fit into a nice neat box that can be easily explained.
I worry about finding a graduate job relevant to both public relations and my interests and whether I will be able to pick up the practical skills quickly enough to succeed outside of a university environment.
Also as someone with a long-term health condition, I wonder whether I will find opportunities that will be flexible enough for me to manage.
For more information on CIPR approved universities click here.
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