communications

Introducing….OurPR

“Without doubt, the internet age has arrived. With it has arrived a revolution in public relations. This revolution not only involves the way we communicate, but the nature of communication itself.” – David Phillips 

The Idea

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This exciting new venture, OurPR, desires to fill a gap in the market for two branches of customer. Small to medium enterprises and small to medium public relations (PR) professionals.

As someone studying PR that will soon be graduating, I’m always thinking about how I will hunt for business in the future. The annual State of the Industry Report (2013/1014) by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations told me that I am not the only one. Two in five professionals are spending more time searching for new business than they were last year, surely this means there is more business out there? This is great news!

I will emerge as a newbie into the industry, so where then can I source smaller and less high profile clients that will enable me to build up my profile and gain ever important experience?

CIPR State of the Profession 13/14

CIPR State of the Profession 13/14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experienced, reputable and high profile PR professionals have built their client base and now they have done so – they don’t have to work so hard to find clients.

OurPR exists to help to build skills and relationships for those that are lacking in those areas or are just beginning in the industry.

OurPR is an online sourcing platform, not for permanent contracts or in-house PR jobs, but for small scale project briefs, campaigns and one-off activities with specific targets. Temporary collaborations with hard hitting and successful outcomes.

Gene Marks

Gene Marks – Streetwise Small Business Book Of Lists

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A peek at the industry and current problems: Small to medium enterprises struggle with their PR strategies due to affordability and time. I spoke to Thomas Aston at VIP Event Butler, a SME based in Shenstone, to talk about his company’s views on PR. OurPR exists to help tackle some of the obstacles that he discusses and provide a solution until they can afford to implement a full time strategy.

The Simple Process the users will go through when using OurPR

The Simple Process the users will go through when using OurPR

Examples of briefs that might be posted on OurPR:

  • Increase in local press coverage for a lighting company that want to increase their local awareness and sales. 
  • Help with the end to end PR work for a big beauty event and campaign held by a beauty salon chain with branches across one region.
  • Campaign pitch to help a local Alcoholics Anonymous service advertise the effects of alcohol to their area/region. Targeting the demographic known to drink most in their area.

OurPR will be a simplistic and easy to navigate website with portals for both SME’s and PR’s. Recruitment agency PR Futures has a great website, but is not a member based service – they source for clients (for a fee) but any PR professional can click apply and send their CV in. OurPR wants to create more of a community feel, by making sure our users feel belonging towards our service and become members, with ratings and feedback on the portal so people can see successes.

Also, media industry job platforms for students such as CreativePool do this very effectively, analysis of this website and practices of similar will be of huge benefit to OurPR.

Strengths of OurPR:

  • The ability to make projects available to a wider online national PR practice base removes distance barriers and time barriers, making it cost effective communication.
  • Making it realistic for graduates and smaller scale public relations to find achievable briefs for them and their clients.
  • As OurPR is an online company – costs are lessened as no office space is needed and running of the company is kept simple. As well as maintenance being low scale.
  • Technology developments – reflects the shift in public relations practice to the internet
  • Easily promoted via pr networks, pr academia, SME networks and both PR and SME social media.
  • More focused than overall job websites such as MediaArgh– sector specific work.
  • Don’t charge cost for pr sourcing (whereas examples such as PR Futures recruitment do).
  • First six months of membership and usage for free.

Weaknesses of OurPR: 

  • Already a large existing base of PR recruitment agencies.
  • Already a number of reputable media and creative industry job advertising sites.
  • May not attract older generation public relations professionals that are not to technology savvy. Professionals over 60 years of age are 24% of consultancy/agency PR and 29% of freelance PR professionals, CIPR survey).
  • Membership fee after six months – might deter people if costs involved.
  • Funds needed to set up initial website and run the admin.

The aim and next steps:

To make sure OurPR moves forward, the plan is to deepen the research and plan on how we will get the message to the right people, then competitor website analysis and the design of the strongest brand identity and messaging before the launch.

We will utilise the physical networks in the UK for SME’s and PR and build up databases of the target markets for our brand.

  • Soon to be PR graduates
  • Recent PR graduates
  • Freelance PR consultants
  • Small consultancy PR companies
  • Unemployed PR professionals
  • Freelance service providers and business owners
  • Individual skills people
  • SME’s

Finally – the aims are to create a long term business plan which includes the start of membership fees and the possibility of advertising revenue from other services that can be outsourced by SME’s such as printing services, business card companies, corporate film and business/product photography for example.

I hope you have enjoyed the OurPR idea, I welcome feedback and any suggestions that you might have to help to make this venture the best it can be!

Please contact me via:

Email

Twitter

LinkedIn 

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Why I love my media degree

It’s a funny little word ‘media’. A simple term that is usually thrown around without a second thought, but as an undergraduate of media and communications I have learnt a key message, that it’s inevitable and undeniable complexity cannot be ignored by any one of us.

Each and every consumer across the world experiences the ‘media’ in a unique way and makes it their very own, and that is why I am in complete and unequivocal love with it.

Traditional forms of media, television, radio and newspaper (the big players of the olden days) didn’t have much competition as the platforms were limited. Everybody used to watch those few channels, listen to those few stations and read those few sheets. That was all they had… no breadth or depth of wonderful technology.

Now have a think about what you have at your fingertips. Every morning from waking up until bedtime…What apps do you check? Who do you speak to and how? Do you listen? Watch? Share, like or play? How do you record your life?

Everybody, everything and every taste has a producer to cater for it. For every gap in the market there is someone working on it, it’s this exciting fact that creates the desire to be that person figuring it out and creating the next big thing.

I have realised my previous obliviousness, my juvenile understanding and lack of consciousness about pretty much everything going on around me which generally involves the some form of the media. Studying this degree has opened up  my understanding of the past, present and future of the media, and within that the future of communications, something that us humans must all do to survive.

Two years in and it is now second nature for me to question it all. Why is Coca Cola putting names on bottles? How does Justin Bieber deal with bad press (let’s face it there’s a lot of it….)? How is skin perfected on that picture? How are the people behind each company, however small, building  Each media student has a completely different experience and asks completely different questions. I’m making my degree mine, moulding my own end result that nobody else will have.

The beauty is the choice and freedom. Learn and try photography, music industries, events or journalism and find your passion. The sheer volume of things you can experiment with will give you the drive to show the world what you can create, write and achieve. You will speak in front of people and sell yourself and your work.

Theory isn’t ‘war and peace’…it’s around my interests and the things I want to research. I can delve in to the representation of celebrity in David LaChappelle’s work or compare two public relations campaigns and their messages.

Adaptation and evolution are two words I associate with my media degree, not a mickey mouse subject or an easy ride, technical and practical industry focused development is what we learn, its hardly easy! As well as embracing the constant change and keeping up with the fastest paced sector of our age.

I get to meet the people that have succeeded before me and be one of the people behind the next phase of the biggest creative sector of our century. I’m using my weird creativity to fuel the next generation because it’s not just about becoming employable and spending £8,500 each year on a piece of paper. You learn to love what you do and put your signature into your work.

Not only that but being in the second city, known for its industrial and technical development and with an increasingly up and coming future is more than a little bit exciting.

Innovation. You could wait for it or you could be a part of it. 

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Industry & Institution: Political Economy

New media and photography theory 2013

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Week one concentrated on the concept of political economy, which has been described as “The study of social relations and power relations that mutually constitute the production, distribution and consumption of resources” (Long and Wall 2012:490). This approach is one way of justifying and explaining the formalities carried out within the media and the influences that they have over media products. Political economy has been challenged by other concepts such as cultural studies.

Larger companies are said to create products suitable for a mass audience to achieve profit maximisation (Long and Wall 2012:176). As a result, they become potential power figures and could hold large influence over the factors of production, distribution and consumption. Long and Wall cover this, explaining how the smaller firms are regularly disadvantaged by the domination of larger companies (Long and Wall 2012:179). Natalie Fenton supports this by saying that power figures within the media have the ability to sustain or extend that power successfully, and by any means, through their high position and wealth (Fenton, N:13). Once they have positioned themselves close the market’s geographic core they can then be readily available to a larger audience. (Hotelling in Long and Wall 2012:176)

It can be said that Google is a prime example of this as it has monopoly over the search engine industry and other industries. It has few competitors in Yahoo and Bing and controls a large percentage of its media sector. Size is said to give advantage, through domination (Long and Wall 2012:179), and conglomerates such as Google will most likely out-compete other smaller firms. Janet Lowe agrees “Google appears to be an unstoppable online giant, capable of growing as fast as the internet grows. On a corporate level, Google challenges everyone remotely near it.”(Lowe, J 2009:262)

To research political economy in more detail, I would conduct an organisational study on Google. My primary focus would be the head office team, mapping out their roles and delegation of company plans. I would aim to analyse how they are tackling competitors and keeping their company strategy at its peak and make a report on my findings.

References:

Long, P and Wall, T (2012) Media Studies: Texts, Production, Context (2nd Edition), London:Pearson.

Bridging the Mythical Divide: Political Economy and Cultural Studies Approaches to the Analysis of the Media. Fenton.N

Lowe, J (2009). Google Speaks: Secrets of the world’s greatest billionaire entrepreneurs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. New Jersery: John Wiley & Sons Inc. p262.