By Luke Budka, director at TopLine Comms

Future gazing articles are usually guesstimates at best, but the PR industry evolves quickly. This means some agencies have developed their service offerings while others are still practicing the same old-fashioned tactics. It enables you to look forward and back at the same time.


What did PR traditionally consist of? Depends on who you talk to and the area in which you work (i.e. there’s a big difference between political press office work and consumer brand agency work) but from an agency perspective, strategies and tactics have traditionally included:

Internal comms – an often overlooked stakeholder group

  • Crisis comms – typically a specialist subject
  • Social media – managing a social presence (am lumping things like Wikipedia management in this category)
  • Op-eds – long form editorial designed to position your client as a thought leader
  • Press releases – news designed to position your client as a thought leader
  • Interviews – meetings between your client and the media or other external stakeholders that need to be influenced
  • Business profiles – actual profiles of your client’s business with a focus on financials and/or founder’s background and aspirations
  • Events – managing an events programme and potentially the events in their entirety from setup to actually running them
  • Speaking opps – securing slots at events designed for a client’s target audience
  • Awards – researching and entering awards on a client’s behalf to raise awareness with a target audience (could be customers or could be other important stakeholder group like VCs)
  • Analyst relations – researching and liaising with analysts at relevant research houses in an effort to secure a magic quadrant or equivalent position for your client
  • Experiential (stunts) – ‘creative’ stunts designed to quickly raise awareness of a particular thing (e.g. a new product or TV programme)

What do all the above have in common? It’s very difficult to work out return on investment. Yes it’s possible to measure referrals from social channels, yes it’s possible to generate leads and opportunities from events, but on the whole the benefit of PR is intangible.

We’ve all read the Barcelona Principles all heard PR practitioners talk a good game, but the proof is in the pudding.

The reason there are still huge international brands relying on metrics like advertising value equivalencies is because they believe in the power of PR, but they need to justify the spend to a finance director or board that’s interested in the numbers (consider that the updated 2015 Barcelona Principles, as linked above, actually advise on how to make AVEs as accurate as possible – an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one). I’m not saying this is universally true: for example, c level execs appreciate without expert management, a crisis scenario could send a share price sliding. But these are fairly niche requirements that can be handled by a few agencies. So where does that leave everyone else? The thousands of PR shops scattered across the UK still trying to sell age old tactics to CMOs who now expect to be able to measure everything they spend marketing budget on. Combine that with a much-reduced media (the numbers of journalists in full time work is decreasing all the time) and you have a pretty good idea of how challenging the market is.

But this doesn’t mean there isn’t a future for these agencies. The skillset required to execute the PR tactics above is a transferable one. It very much lends itself to other marketing disciplines like search engine optimisation (SEO) and content marketing. And, there’s no reason these disciplines shouldn’t fall under the auspices of PR anyway. If it’s all about influencing a public then surely today’s battleground is not the pages of a broadsheet newspaper, but in fact the first page of Google’s search results. You make sure your client’s appearing there and suddenly you have a very easy way of assessing PR RoI, ironically you go from becoming one of the hardest to measure, most expensive marketing spends, to one of the easiest to measure, best value options.

If an agency insists on sticking to the tried and tested tactics above, then they should at least get to grips with a client’s business objectives, decide in advance what’ll help them achieve those business objectives that PR can influence (e.g. would a greater share of voice vs the competition help; or maybe the reinforcement of a particular key message in certain titles;  maybe a change in audience sentiment?) and then measure their success against these predetermined KPIs. They also (as a bare minimum) need to become proficient with Google Analytics and Google Search Console so they can measure things like real time website engagement (handy if your client has a broadcast slot), referral traffic and branded searches.

Don’t despair. The world of PR as alive and kicking, but the tactics involved are evolving. Associate yourself with agencies that realise this, and you’ll set yourself on a solid career trajectory.





Colin Byrne has been in both the private and not-for-profit PR and Communications Sectors for over 30 years; now CEO, UK & EMEA at Weber Shandwick. Byrne’s Political Communications background includes joining the British Labour Party’s Communication team in 1987 as Head of Press & Broadcasting, later promoted as deputy to the Communications Director.

The business school had the pleasure of welcoming Colin Byrne on Wednesday 1st November, to gain an understanding of the ‘New Driving Force in Public Relations’. Colin explained how Business communications are changing forever. We are living in one of the most turbulent times with the likes of Brexit and the ongoing sexual harassment debate, and it is this lack of ‘trust’ which provides a darker side to the communications industry.



‘Trust is a human instinct which is essential for our survival”

Trust is a concept which first evolved when we lived in tribal groups. Those groups who were better at working together, i.e. more trusting, were more likely to survive. So, how healthy is a society where we don’t trust institutions? Or where consumers don’t trust brands?

The Era of Distrust

Colin identified three very different generations in the audience; Generation Z, younger millennials and older millennials. This changing audience is divided into two groups, the Informed and Uninformed. Colin stressed the importance of not ‘living in a bubble’, ensuring we are listening more and researching our audience properly. If you were running a FMCG or financial service business for example, the informed group would be your consumers.

“Feelings are just as valid as facts”


Combating fake news

Fake news is sometimes hard to distinguish and can ruin a reputation for years. One case  study shown was the McDonalds ‘pink sludge’ and chicken nuggets scandal. Fake information led to years of crisis management to combat rumours around their food process. In the past, legally watertight statements released days after a crisis could go a long way in resolving the situation. Now, McDonalds has had to spend years using Marketing and PR material to discard false claims. 5 years later and the fast-food chain is still forking out huge budgets for positive chicken nugget adverts! One campaign even involved recruiting Grant Imahara to investigate their suppliers – ‘Is there real beef in their burgers?’. Colin argues, ‘Fake news is often worse if you’re a bigger corporation than if you’re an MP’.

Real News

In the modern day there is a spotlight on corporate activity, with the average number of headlines signalling corporate reputation risk rising from 130 to 1,030 in only the last 10 years. There is a greater demand for corporate transparency which requires avoiding the credibility gap, (the difference between what is said or promised, and what happens or is true).

‘Many company incidents remain hidden – but recent evidence suggest that more are turning into full-blown crisis’ – Mckinsey

Low trust clearly leads to a demand in action, with figures showing that 74% of the public believe the government need to be tougher on business. Colin explained, to be affective we should ‘listen and act on deeper insights to fuel our PR strategies, which deal with distrust and scepticism’. Corporations should consider employing anthropologists and behavioural scientists if they really want to understand people.

The Gut Feeling

We learnt that most trust their own gut over data analytics, although bigger brands really cannot afford to do this. There is a changing role for head of communications, with what was seen as a traditionally niche function, now being spread over those working in bigger corporations. Now, almost half of chief officers have responsibility for Marketing, Advertising and Branding with a 30% increase in CCO and CMO roles merging.

“Increased demands for transparency and authenticity mean that companies must speak with one voice. Achieving one voice starts with integrating the outward faces of the organisation – communications and marketing. With those functions properly integrated, everything else is aligned to be credible and compelling to every stakeholder to maximise the company value proposition” Micho Spring

The use of Social Media by CEO’s is significantly important in driving more engagement between brands, consumers, institutions and corporations. The ‘Social CEO Study’ from 2015 analyses how active the top CEO’s are around the world. In 2015 about 42% of CEO’s were active on Social Media, whilst estimating that in the current year there would be an incline to over 63%. With the likes of our current American President Donald Trump using (or in some eyes violating) Twitter’s site, there is plenty of evidence to suggest this is true. In fact, 24% of twitter uses were found to be highly regarded CEO’s… Colin even claimed he had to re-invent himself as a ‘social media animal’.

Traditionally, a business’ primary focus would be on giving services and selling their goods. Now they are having to directly and publicly face social and ethical issues, such as global warming and even sexual harassment charges against employees.

“CEOS can’t sit on the shelf anymore”

So, What is our role?

We need to understand that society’s trust for business’ is slowly shrinking and we can no longer ‘assume’ or ‘guess’ the behaviour of our audiences. We need to become behavioural scientists ourselves.

Engagement with consumers is crucial. Creating content which is credible rather than spin is more likely to be shared with friends and family.

In an internet driven world, we can no longer wait for a crisis, instead monitoring Social Media platforms 24 hours of the day. Be fast, be responsive and be vigilant.

“PR needs to be a bit more like Marketing”

Colin showed us an incredibly innovative and creative campaign from the Swedish Office, ‘The House of Clicks”. Hemnet’s aim was to be the ‘future of property development’, collecting 200 million clicks used on their property website in 2014 and creating the home Swedes ‘dreamed about’. With the help of two architects, the ‘Most wanted home’ was created. Over 600 people signed up to invest in the property, opening a 200 million dollar market. The audience helped create the content and provide the data, resulting in a perfect narrative and story.


  1. Focus on business objectives, rather than just communication objectives
  2. LEARN from the success stories of Marketing and Advertising
  3. Put creativity at the centre
  4. Use BIG data in an intelligent way

Colin concluded, “Whilst on the one hand there is fake news and negativity, there is hope. Business people, generation to generation must change their attitude and tap into their social media selves”


GUEST BLOG: Ezri Carlebach

I’ve had the privilege of working with the team at Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture for the past couple of years, seeing it go from business strategy and stakeholder engagement plan to full-on festival mode for a whole year, and now – as the year comes to a close – the legacy planning phase.

It’s been a ground-breaking experience for Aarhus, with increases in investment, tourism, and international profile. A key part of the legacy is the institutional capacity and individual capability that the city and region’s creative and cultural industries have received. It’s a huge boost for a burgeoning centre of creative life, one that boasts great amenities, open and friendly people, and a wealth of natural beauty and sites of historic interest throughout the region.

Aarhus and the surrounding Central Denmark Region also belong to the global Districts of Creativity Network, along with places like Rio de Janeirho in Brazil, Shanghai in China – and all of Scotland! The growth of the DC network is linked to a policy tilt towards ‘smart cities’, in which digital tools and connectivity are joined-up with urban infrastructure, environmental sustainability, skills development, and the labour market. Districts of Creativity work to promote core competences that enable creative learning, production, and participation.

A similar set of ideas is behind the development of a Design District right here in Greenwich (free registration required for this link). Along with new homes and other facilities, the Design District aims to attract a wide range of creative businesses and practitioners. The evidence shows that the economic prospects of a region are enhanced by the presence of these kinds of people – the ‘creative classes’, as US sociologist Richard Florida famously called them. The good news is that PR is definitely included!  

Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 16.21.51

At the beginning of November, I attended the Districts of Creativity World Forum, which this year was hosted in Aarhus, to coincide with its year as European Capital of Culture. Nearly 2,000 delegates packed the beautiful Muiskhuset concert hall in central Aarhus to hear a dazzling array of keynote speakers, mix in coffee-fuelled networking sessions, and spread out over the city to dozens of breakout workshops hosted by businesses, educational institutions, and other creative venues. I attended a breakout hosted by design agency DesignIt who presented their recent work with Swedish airline SAS to redesign the in-flight dining experience. We then worked in small groups on a client brief, and I had a lot of fun in a group led by Glasgow-based innovation expert Barbara Chalmers – you can see her instant post-workshop vlog here.

Of the dozen or so keynote speakers, there were three stand-outs for me. First, contrarian designer Stefan Sagmeister, whose New York agency is one of the hippest around (gotta love the live webcam on the home page!). He presented his theory about the objective reality of beauty, exhorting us to reject the old notion that beauty is in the eye of the beholder as – in his inimitable Austrian accent – “bullshit”. He used a mix of audience participation, psychology experiments, and lots of bluster to make his case – not 100% convincing, in my view, but very entertaining.

Then AI expert Dr Vivienne Ming revealed how algorithms (basically, artificial intelligence programmes) are scouring vast quantities of data, and are using ‘meta-learning’ techniques to predict people’s outcomes in education and employment. It all sounds very ‘sci-fi’, and if you look at Dr Ming’s website you’ll get a flavour of that ‘the-future-is-already-here’ vibe. Her work is fascinating, but I felt she skipped over some of the big ethical issues. To be fair, she only had thirty minutes…

Finally, staying on the sci-fi theme, self-styled “science-fiction artist” Lucy McRae shared video images from some extraordinary performance/experiment cross-over pieces, from running in a giant hamster wheel contraption that simulates a zero gravity experience to getting vacuum-packed in silver foil to try and create the sensation of being ‘hugged’ on every part of the body (from the neck down!). Again, check out her website to see what this all looks like.

There was much else besides these three, and other great keynotes were delivered by IDEO co-founder Tom Kelley, architect and urban design consultant Jan Gehl and many more. In the end it got a bit overwhelming, and I was glad to have a little extra time in Aarhus to explore its beautiful cobbled shopping streets and cool coffee shops.



On the 18th of October, we were incredibly lucky to kick start the academic year with a guest lecture from Ezri Carlebach. With more than 20 years’ experience in senior roles as a consultant, author and speaker, Ezri’s  extremely knowledgeable in his field of Communications. Nevertheless, he surpassed all expectations with not only a thought provoking and motivating lecture, but one that was truly entertaining and surprising to say the least… ( We are awaiting our live Punk performance from Carlebach himself!)

We learnt that skills are interlinked across all types of work industries and sectors, not just in the communications industry.

‘The number one, most important skill is CREATIVITY. ’

We were asked, ‘Which is different, a pair of wooden clogs, a boat or a shed?’.

As expected, the audience were split into three. The clogs and the garden shed are both made from wood, the clogs and the boat are both forms of transport and the shed and boat cannot be worn.

This successfully demonstrated that as individuals, we interpret tasks differently. We are always using those transferable skills we have attained and our own unique creativity. Ezri noted, ‘In the world of work, it is not just about sales anymore. As humans, we want to do something meaningful. It’s the purpose of being human’. Creativity is not just about paintings and visual art, it is almost old-fashioned to look at it in this way. Across all sectors, even the public sector, there are opportunities for you to be innovative and let your creative flare thrive. He argues that Public Relations can often be seen as too abstract and conceptual, ‘It is creativity that drives everything. Learning, socioeconomic change, education. Everything’.

ezri 3

“When defining creativity in PR, what we’re really trying to define is how we measure the ideas we produce and implement for clients and stakeholders and the influence they have on business objectives.”Claire Bridges

Once we had discussed the most important skill, Ezri explained that there are 3 more which will help you excel in the communications Industry. These were Mindfulness, Playfulness and Entrepreneurism.


Being aware of the emotions of others, without judging them, is a valuable skill. You can train your mind to stand aside and maintain a sense of flow, which often results in you achieving the reaction you were hoping for. Ezri explained, ‘Pain is inevitable. Suffering is a choice’. Particularly for those on the PR course who will one day tackle crisis work, it is important to stay calm and think rationally.


Although Playfullness is often seen as the basis of child development, it is fundamental to socialisation and the development of society. We are starting to see an increase in companies taking the idea of ‘play’ and incorporating it into the workplace. An example is Lego, who used their own building bricks in exercises with employees to improve ‘strategic planning, communication, and creative thinking’. Apple, Amazon and Google are all world wide leaders incorporating Playfullness into their business workforce, so it must work, right?


The modern interpretation of entrepreneurism is socially orientated and requires you to successfully manage risk, learn from failure and to be resilient. If you can grasp this attitude, whilst supporting adaptation and encouraging learning, you are opening the doors for a more successful career.

  1. Start from Scratch
  2. Learn from Failure
  3. Re-invest




‘We need to make sure we frame our stories in the right way’

The framing of a piece of writing should follow the institution you are working for. PR flops will often occur when a piece of writing is framed in the wrong way, i.e. ‘I, We, You’. For example, you are writing a piece about immigration. The choice of pronoun, ‘us’ or ‘them’, will tell your audience a lot about your underlying values.

Design Thinking

Ezri’s piece on ‘How design thinking connects different worlds’ for the Design Thinkers Academy:

To complete the lecture, we were all treated to our very own ‘PR Kit’. In it, we had a piece of paper, a sharpie and a tuck-shop style paper bag. Can we find a way to connect a ball of wool, a needle and a brick together, using all the supplies in our kit? After a very comical few minutes, with future PR practitioners ripping up paper and struggling to draw, the results showed that yes we could.


Ezri Concluded,

‘There are no bad skills, just skills deployed for the wrong thing at the wrong time’

Thank you so much Ezri!


Hello everyone! Before we kick start the academic year with plenty more fabulous Guest Speakers, Blogs and Socials – here’s a little introduction to the new face behind this blog. My name is Ellie Tyrrell and I will be taking on this role from Jessica Mckenzie. Last year we shared some incredible experiences such as visiting the youtube space and vlogging the experience. The PR Fraternity was such a big part of my first year at Greenwich University and I am absolutely thrilled to be a member of the exec team. Keep an eye on this blog as we document some of the PR Fraternity’s most exciting highlights across the year.

Until next time!

Find me at:

Instagram: @ellierosetyrrell










Summer Catch up with the PR Fraternity

Happy Summer everyone! Hope everybody enjoyed the sun over the past couple of weeks. This post is just a catch up on what everyone has been up to over the past couple of months.

Last month, PR Fraternity students Ellie Tyrrell, Catriona Mcallister and me Jessica Mckenzie attended the Vlogstar workshop semi finals at the Google headquarters in central London. The day was very exciting and full of useful tips when blogging and vlogging.

The day began with a visit to Leon’s in St Pancras for a quick lunch, I personally recommend the fish finger wrap as it is delicious! Then we made our way to the headquarters where there were smoothies and a buffet for the semi-finalists. We were introduced to people from the Evening Standard, Youtube Space and the Jack Petchey foundation as they were all sponsors and contributors to the competition. We learnt techniques such as 3 point lighting and how to use it to set the mood. At the end of the day we were lucky enough to experience a panel with amazing Youtubers such as RollinUnGashaa  on their experiences as youtubers, the good, the bad, the ugly and their tips on how to succeed within the youtube realm.

Check out the vlogs created on our day down below! And don’t forget to subscribe for more videos with Ellie and Jess!


For anybody that is still in the city, PR events in London this summer include:

  • CIPR lectures and network drinks
  • PRCA monthly member drinks
  • PRCA annual awards ceremony
  • PR week conferences.
  • PRCA and PR week boat party (28th June)

So make sure you are making the most of these events!!

The current exec team are having amazing experiences all over the country and Europe!

Gerda Pinciute- Currently Interning with Lewis in London, before she embarks on her journey with Gorkana later this summer

Hannah Stupar- Currently between Ipswich and London, working at her internship.

Sam Sparks- Currently working and spending his summer in his gorgeous Somerset hometown.

Jessica Mckenzie- Currently working in administration and secretarial roles in her Kentish hometown.

Anastasia grammatikopoulou- Currently in Riga in Latvia, doing an internship.

Mónica Núñez- Currently working in her hometown in Spain.

Look out for upcoming PR Fraternity events such as the welcome event (date TBC) and find us at the freshers fair in Greenwich at the end of September!

Hope everyone is having a lovely summer and we welcome any new students for September!

Kate Steele on Crisis Management and Next Years PR Frat Team!

This is the blog post for the final talk of the academic year. This year has been one full of amazing speakers and events run by the PR Fraternity and I just wanted to take a moment to mention the team before getting into our final talk. Our President Gerda Pinciute , has been strong and determined to improve the fraternity and make it more social, and I believe she has succeeded in bringing the society together with socials. The events and fraternity would not have been as amazing if it wasn’t for the consistent help of our Vice President and our Events Officer, Hannah Stupar and Anastasia Grammatikopoulou. Without the updates from Samuel Sparks on Social Media, there would be no efficient way of putting our events and society on the university radar. Last but not least, a thank you to Monica Nunez, for her help as the Photographer at our events. I have had an amazing time writing blog posts for the PR Fraternity this year and being part of the PR Fraternity Executive team has been a great experience. So without further ado, here is a summary of Kate Steele’s talk.


Kate Steele’s talk on crisis management was interesting and eye opening to the different issues that she comes across on a day to day basis, as well as her advice if you plan to work in that sector. Her first point was how reputation is all about trust; how to maintain it, generate it and how keeping trust specifically with your stakeholders is key. Another tip Kate gave was try not to panic, as most of the time it is not necessary.

“Always look broadly at the bigger picture to stay informed”


Kate Steele said humans had two instincts. Instinct 1 was more of a caveman style, using the fight or flight theory, we react to what we truly want. Instinct 2 is more rational/civilised part of the brain, this is what we try to use to make decisions at work and is very important in crisis management. Advice for working in that sector was to think like a lawyer. Your job is to defend your client but keep it legal as well. Kate said detaching yourself emotionally is important in some situations. She has been in situations involving factory closures, job losses, data leaks and theft, product recalls and kidnapping, meaning keeping a moral compass as well as emotional detachment is vital.

Preparation is crucial

Always have a crisis plan in place and a clearly defined team with roles and responsibilities and make sure you have trained and tested through situations before they happen so that you do not look disorganised. Additionally, have resources in place already such as digital assists, media lists, a roster of third-party experts and influencers. And make sure there is relationships ready in place for example local and international politicians, officials,media, academics, online pundit, NGOs, emergency services, as it doesn’t look good to try and make new friends after trouble or bad news had already hit.



Organisations can work with media to build a strong repetitional/trust story…combining what the company stands for; what is does; how it engages…

Kate Steele suggested that everyone should learn about cyber issues even if that’s not the area you would like to work in. In her opinion, because so much is cyber these days, it will almost definitely be involved in your job.


The general population’s trust in all four key institutions- business, government, NGOs, and media-has declined broadly in the past five years. Also globalisation is seen to have failed many communities/individuals. However, there’s been a healthy mistrust of many institutions for years.

Kate went through the different issues that you can come across in crisis management and the different areas they can be in.

EHSS issues: fatal accidents/other accidents/emissions/pollution/fires/hazmat/sabotage

Employee issues: Labour disputes/executive departures/employee wrongdoing

Legal issues: Contract/intellectual property/improper payments

Cyber issues: Info security/data protection/ privacy/ DDOS/ Phising/ Hacking

Transactional issues: Reorganisation/restructuring/mergers and acquisitions

Associative taint: Broad industry issues


Overall, the talk was enlightening and incredibly interesting. After Kate Steele’s talk, we had the vote to decide next years PR Fraternity team (2017-2018). It was close but here are our new members of the Executive family!


Cheyenne O’Kane– President

Hannah Larsen– Vice President

Ellie Tyrrell– Digital Media Officer

Martina Della Maddalena– Photography Officer

Jess Voller– Events Officer

Megan Bakewell– Marketing Officer

Catriona McAllister – Secretary

Good Luck to you all next year, and I hope you create the same amazing memories my executive team have!


Asoni Haus’ Ingrid on Building a Business

Last week we had an amazing talk from the lovely Ingrid Asoni on how to build a business and survive in the luxury & lifestyle PR industry.
(Photo credit: Benedicte Nylund)

Ingrid focused on topics such as how to present your social media, and the challenges and rewards of running a company. She began working in freelance PR and events and had experience within fashion houses before studying Event Management at Greenwich University. Ingrid believes that even though she was more progressed within the industry she does not think that it made creating a business ‘any easier’.

Ingrid’s first tip was to use social media such as Instagram and Twitter to build your portfolio and keep it professional as well as a reflection of you as a person.

“Your degree is not enough”

Ingrid claims that nowadays just having a good degree is not enough. You have to intern, connect and build a business or get a job opportunity from using your contacts. Another tip of hers was to ‘work out what your niche is’.

Ingrid came to create her business when she realised that she did not want to take directions or be dependent on someone else who paid her, from this it made sense to create a business of her own. Asoni Haus is a luxury/lifestyle PR agency who works on a variety of things from events to travel to investing in hotels. Ingrid noticed that lifestyle PR was on the rise at the time, and not only were there gaps in the business but nobody had a strong focus on the Asian/African market.

There are days you do think ‘how am i going to keep the lights on’

Ingrid’s main suggestion for running a successful company is to constantly adapt your business model as you go along on your journey. Always question if there is anything you may be missing and make sure you develop as you go along and understand what your customers want and evolve with the times.

Ingrid graduated in July a few years ago and by August 1st had started the business. Six months on from that she opened her 2nd office in Marrakech which she claims at the time was partially selfish because she liked the area and the weather. However, she quickly realised the amazing opportunities that Morocco had to offer. Ingrid has worked with Free People, Vogue and various other large companies as a result of her office in Marrakech. A further six months and she opened up in Dubai, as she felt that it was a nice middle point for her Asian clients. From then onwards it became constantly about monitoring everything as she was working in many different time zones.

“Go with what the market expects”

Ingrid lightheartedly warns us that opening a business means that you just won’t sleep…ever! It’s all about keeping your ‘foot on the pedal’ and making sure everything is right. In the luxury market, Ingrid claims that there’s no room for mistakes and relaxing as you have to be on and ticking all of the time. Ingrid has created a stunning business but tells us that it hasn’t been easy due to having  to constantly be thinking about what the market is thinking and how to make collaborative partnerships.

“People find us mainly through networks,and word of mouth…not our website.”

Ingrid says that she uses the website because it’s almost mandatory to own a website for your business in todays digital age. However when gaining new clients, she feels that it is usually organically rather than through an online search. When explaining the challenges of running a business, we were told it was obligatory to be thick skinned. “If you’re the type of person who emails 50 people and gives up when they don’t reply then starting a business is not for you.” It’s all about dealing with rejection, learning from your mistakes and not dwelling in the past.

One comment Ingrid made really stuck with me and it was that sometimes you don’t even need to be confident, you just need to deliver the best work and show that you have gone from A-Z to prepare. When asked about what she looks for in an intern or when hiring, Ingrid explained that she wasn’t conventional and hired based on the passion of the person. Ingrid describes the Luxury/Lifestyle sector as the ‘relationship industry’, and how it is all about relationships. Stakeholders and clients within this sector are not buying into the company but you as an individual, so the pressure is high.

“Social media is a business card”

It is your portfolio so be very conscious of your social media. Ingrid says she has rethought working with people in the past due to their social media, so don’t just make it for your family and friends, keep it professional as well. Ingrid’s last point was to always use university as time to prepare yourself, and not just another three years of education.

If you missed Ingrid’s talk then have no fear! On Monday 6th March, we have the successful Giles Kenningham the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister back for the second year running to give us an insight into political PR. Follow our Facebook Page for more info!

The Vlogstar Challenge

A couple of weeks ago we held an amazing event called the Vlogstar Challenge Workshop by JackPetchey Foundation and the Media Trust and it is also in partnership with YouTube and The Evening Standard and run by the lovely Nathaniel Hawley.

In regards to the competition, 150 semi-finalists who will all be invited to a workshop at Youtube HQ and the 15 finalists will be invited to their state of the art production space. The competition winner will be announced in the summer and will be rewarded with £2,000 for their youth organisation, £500 worth of production equipment, and one-to-one mentoring with YouTube experts. It is an amazing opportunity so be sure to check their website for more information!

The modules covered on the day were as follows:
1) The Phenomenon of YouTube
2) Practical 1: Shoot a 10 second smartphone video blog
3) Filming protocols: Lighting, Sound and Focus
4) Practical 2: Create a review vlog
5) Video editing skills
6) How to Vlog: The What, Why and How of being yourself on camera
7) Passion, Purpose and Identity. Translating passion and purpose into a story that has meaning.
8) The Art of Getting Conversational. Having a point and creating your brand.
9) Practical 3: Campaign Vlog
10) Practical 4: Film a Vlog for the competition
11) Uploading and Safety

To begin with, we were shown some facts about the phenomenon of YouTube. For example, more than 1 billion people visit YouTube every month and 9 billion hours of video have been watch. It is currently the 2nd biggest search engine and surprisingly 1/4 of YouTubes global watch is European, showing that the accent really does do wonders! PewDiePie is a good example of a strong YouTube influencer with around 54 million subscribers, that is almost as big as the UK population. Another unknown fact is that 50% of YouTube views are on mobile devices.

The first practical was simply to create a 10 second smartphone video blog. This was our first taste of vlogging and how to do it correctly. We learnt the correct angles which was straight on or slightly raised but never looking down to the camera. This lead onto the filming protocols.

Rule 1: Always film Landscape

Filming landscape ensures that when you upload to YouTube, the video fits the frame perfectly. Portrait, leaves gaps and looks unprofessional and tabloid like.

Rule 2: Focus

The second rule was to always make sure your camera has focus on you preferred area before you hit record. Otherwise you could end up with a blurry clip which amazing content but unable to be used due to lack of quality.

Rule 3: Find your light

It’s suggested that the best light is in the morning or mid afternoon. Make sure the light is in front of you and and not behind you, or you risk shadows on your face and a darker clip without the flawlessness that comes from natural light.

Rule 4: Sound

Sound on iPhones are great until you need to vlog outside or in a noisy background, when that happens the sound can get lost. The best suggestion is to either get a vlogging camera, or if you have a small budget like most students, your best bet is to purchase a plug in microphone.

After the protocols and a few more practice vlog runs…we were ready to be let loose. We all had to create a one minute video of anything we would like to submit to the vlogstar competition.

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We had 1 hour to go off and film a topic close to us or just anything that we have an interest in. We then had 30 minutes to edit our content into one minute, which was a challenge for some who had a lot of rich content. We then submitted and were lucky enough to watch back everyone’s vlogs.

This was the Vice President of the PR Fraternity’s vlog she submitted:

The day overall was thrilling and eye opening and if you want to apply and fit the criteria, then you have until the 4th March to send off a vlog of your own. If you missed this event, not to worry! On Monday 6th March, we have the successful Giles Kenningham the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister back for the second year running to give us an insight into political PR. Follow our Facebook page for updates!


The Evolution of Public Relations: Campaigns that Shook the World

Last week we had a lovely talk from the dazzling Danny Rogers who is the Editor-in-chief for PR week. Danny the author of, ‘Campaigns that Shook the World: The Evolution of Public Relations‘, talked through his intriguing take on the campaigns which shook the world throughout his presentation based on his book.

In addition to this, he has previous experience working for a PR consultancy, has written for the prestigious Guardian and he’s an award winning journalist. Therefore it was an absolute honour to be his first British university to perform at!

Danny began by describing the two original stereotypes of PR and what it used to be viewed as:
1. The first was the corporate PR; where men dominated and it was all about suits.
2. The second which was the female dominated consumer PR where it was about the parties.

He assured us that thankfully it is just a stereotype and not the reality.

In the early 2000’s, it had become a PR driven age of innovation and investment, and Danny stated that it become a ‘telling over selling’ environment.

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By 2004 when Facebook launched, this is the exact moment social media started to become an integral tool for PR and by 2008 when Obama was elected into the white house, his communications had a strong focus on new media.

Danny believed that by 2010 the media paradigm had transformed completely. He gave examples such as Twitter driven news and TripAdvisor, referred to as a ‘me-media platform’. He felt that there is still a growth in PR, but it is now at a much slower rate.

‘Mass movements replace mass marketing.’

Danny then moved on to what makes a successful influencer. He used Thatcher as one example as she was authentic and consistent, despite half the country hating her she was able to stay in power between 1979-1990.

In order to have a good PR campaign Danny had a few tips and observations. His top three were to have a strong sense of purpose, a powerful and consistent narrative, and being able to understand the shifting nature of influence. He used Trump as an example as he was consistent and authentic, had a strong sense of purpose and flanked traditional media. It was something that hadn’t been done before.

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For the first time you had a man who attacked the establishment and used the ‘elite conspiracy’ as an excuse, which Danny Rogers feels is how the campaign won.

It was an absolute pleasure having Danny as our guest and for the PR Fraternity executive, we were lucky enough to sit-down and get to know him before the event over coffee!

He was able to give us an insight into the PR industry and individually gave the fraternity advice in the different PR fields each of us were interested in – a real help for budding PR practitioners to-be.

if you missed out then don’t worry – just head over to our PR Fraternity on Facebook for news on our future events!