Over a week has passed since my last entry and I couldn’t
have asked for much more of an eventful and busy week in that time. For this
reason I’m going to break the conventional rules of blog formatting and set
this out in sections. I was going to blog the following topics over several
entries but as most are already not the most up to date subjects, yet things I
wouldn’t feel right leaving out I think I’d best get them all in before
anything else comes up.
Firstly and most importantly, the editor of online magazine,
Behind the Spin and one of my first university tutors, Richard Bailey told me
of his resignation from Leeds Met on Monday, as he has accepted a position at
the University of Gloucestershire.
I won’t go into details as these can be found in this article, but what the story
doesn’t display is how much of an asset to academic PR Richard is.
As someone who answered a lot of the questions I had in my
first year of university, and gave me a lot of advice with assignments when it
was somebody else’s job to, I will be sorry to see Richard leave. I feel it’s
safe to say the achievements I have got out of university so far are owed a lot
to him and like others, are disappointed to know he won’t be one of the tutors
available to guide me through larger challenges such as my dissertation.
Gloucestershire students can look forward to a fantastic tutor they’ll want to
be there to guide them through whatever challenges their degree presents them
with from start to finish. I wish Richard all the luck in his new job and hope
it gives him the opportunities he hopes for.
The next piece of news I received was roughly on the same subject
of new jobs as I received an offer of a placement at PR agency, Ptarmigan. This
came as a slight shock, (as did the above news) as the surprise test of writing
a press release during the interview happened to be partly what gained me the
position. I apparently made an impression with my writing skills, which reminded
me of a piece of advice I gave another student earlier this week. This was to
in addition of taking a portfolio of work to an interview, produce a
smaller-scaled version, including more up to date work for the company to keep.
Since producing my first year portfolio I have produced much more work which I
submitted to my interviewer to read through afterwards, giving them something
to remind them of who you are later on.
After an induction today, I can’t wait to start properly
next week. Going through my responsibilities made it apparent Ptarmigan are one
of the few places I have come across that aren’t scared of giving students some
real work and involvement in their clients campaigns. The placement position
will offer me opportunity to be just as involved as everyone else who works
there, and have a say in things I haven’t been able to before, which can only
be a benefit to my level two portfolio.
Last of all is not an event or piece of news, but a topic
that has (annoyingly) come to my attention tonight. After listening to speakers
at the CIPR careers day talk about social media and how important online
activity is now, I realised just how much we depend on it. Practitioners who
have been in the industry long enough to know what it’s like to send press
releases via the Royal Mail have even admitted they don’t know what they’d do
without email now, and these are the people who supposedly should have been
used to not relying on the internet. But when I came to the things I had to do
tonight, five out of six of them were online and didn’t even include checking
my email and Facebook. Due to this you can imagine my annoyance when my
internet connection disappeared and after 40 minutes on the phone to the
provider, still hadn’t come back, and worse still, may not do so for days or
even weeks until they figure out how to fix it. A phone conversation to a
friend later included the question, ‘what am I supposed to do without getting
on the internet tonight?’ I realise this sounds incredibly like I have no life
and spend my nights glued to the computer screen, I don’t. But after putting
the night aside to catch up on some work and focus on things that needed doing
online, it was a bit frustrating.
This got me thinking, what if this happened in an office
environment? I assume they’d have better IT assistance than I had, but even so,
would they all have to go home because there wasn’t much they could do? Do we
forget sometimes that technology is still a relatively new concept and we don’t
know everything about it to stop it going wrong from time to time, and due to
this, should we rely on it as much as we do?
Well I knew it would be a long entry, but I think this has
actually broken a personal record. Think I’ll keep it short and sweet next
time, hopefully from my own laptop by then.