What happens when you meet “the bloggers”

If you happened to miss Wednesdays PR-event “Meet the bloggers” and are currently being consumed by a certain feeling of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), don’t worry; we have all been there. I hate missing out on things, especially when it is a networking event where I know I would have gained some great knowledge and met masses of interesting people. Luckily, I attended this Wednesday’s event, hosted by PRIA WA and our own fabulous Murdoch University, and I will kindly share my thoughts on the night with you whom couldn’t attend!

It truly was an insightful evening, where we had the opportunity to listen to a panel discussion with 4 Perth bloggers who shared their insights on the world of blogging. Catherine Archer, whom most of us know as our lecturer and tutor in the PR-program, facilitated the discussion and she did a great job with bringing the conversations to life. I loved the fact that all the bloggers come from different backgrounds and write very different blogs, reminding us of how varied the world of blogging is. Amanda Kendle writes the blog “Not a Ballerina”, Jo Castro writes the blog “Lifestyle Fifty” and Sameera Afzaal and Aditya Bajekal (students here at Murdoch) writes the blog Dynamique.blog. A panel with big personalities enabled some great insights and some of the things they said truly stuck with me;

Sameera did not only give an amazing speech about overcoming people in your life who don’t believe in you, but she also gave some concrete advice for people who do blog or dream of starting one. It is easy – Do your research. As PR-practitioners we chuckle to ourselves because we already know how important this is, but we also know that some (such as managers, business owners or people we work with) may not always agree. Research takes time and it costs money, but to have a successful blog you need to know your stuff. It is competitive; make sure you don’t create something that is already out there. Check what are popular ways of spreading your blog posts, Facebook, Instagram or even Snapchat? What does it cost to pay for sponsored posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and other avenues? Sameera and Aditya know all this; they spent almost 2 years researching before launching their blog.

It was great to listen to Amanda who has been blogging for ten years and now runs workshops on both blogging and social media to coach others in the expanding world of media. When she first begun blogging she used her blog as a portfolio and I believe this is where we can all take a note, because through her writing she got offered jobs, sponsorships and it truly opened the door to adventures she probably never anticipated. As PR-practitioners we get judged on our writing, and a blog is a great way to showcase not only your writing, but also your personality, something future employers want to see sooner rather than later.

Jo has the blog Lifestyle Fifty and she is also a freelance writer. When asked what she thinks of getting paid for writing certain posts on her blog she said something which I believe is a good thing for us to remember; “Gifts and things are great to get as thanks for writing a post, however it doesn’t pay my grocery bill. My family has to eat as all others”. It is easy to look at blogging as a trivial hobby for people who has got nothing better to do, it is not. Jo made the point that as a blogger you are not only a writer, you are the photographer, the editor, the strategic developer, the social media manager, etc. It is time-consuming and it is 24/7, when PR practitioners pitch stories to bloggers we need to be respectful and remember that this is a job like any other.

It was a great event and it once again reminded me of why I love this industry so much. By working in PR I will throughout my career be surrounded by people who will keep me inspired and challenge me to be creative and unprejudiced in every way possible.

/Jenny Ljunggren

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Speaking Eye to Eye

Since we are all getting to the pointy end of semseter that means but one thing… the dreaded oral presentation!

Presentation slides…check!

Presentation Notes…check!

Sweaty palms…check!

Being uncomfortably aware of the dozens of eyes staring at you expecctantly …check!

Wanting to run and hide in the crowd… check!

Sound familiar? Well there is no shame if it does!

These are definitely some of the usual reactions people have when it comes to public speaking. It’s not everyones cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean you will be able to get off scott-free when you say that you just don’t want to present!

That’s life.. doing things we don’t want to do.

So instead of fighting it (which is no doubt is going to be an uphill battle) have a read of this article from Toastmasters. It provides some great tips on engaging your audience and a little bit of insight into the psychology of effective presenting.

I thought it might be helpful if you are one of the unlucky ones that just can’t bear public speaking. Or even for those that love it, but may want to brush up on your skills before the big class presentation.

So have a read and hopefully it can help give you that extra bit of confidence you may need to go in all guns blazing and give a truly confident presentation that results in the great mark you had been aiming for!

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Good Luck with presenting!

/Lynsey Brady

PR a La Carte – what happened on the night

Another PR a La Carte is done and dusted and it was an amazing night as always! Judging by the comments we received afterwards from some of the students attending we are confident to say that it was another huge success!

Have a read of some of the fantastic feedback PURE has received from those that attended PR a la carte;

Brooke Napijalo (third year student at Murdoch University studying a Bachelor of Digital Marketing and Media) has kindly summarised some of the advice she was given on the night;

Sharon Maloney, Director of Spun Communications

Sharon was able to talk us through her impressive journey as a public relations practitioner and her decision to go from a stable government job to starting her own business. She said she enjoyed the flexibility, being her own boss and that she didn’t have to market herself too much to get clients, word of mouth was enough.

Rhiannon Sloan, Marketing Communications Coordinator with UXC Eclipse

Rhiannon stressed the importance of having a good attitude both at university and in an internship. She said teachers notice when you are attentive and employers will forgive your mistakes if you show a willingness to learn. She also said that double checking your work for spelling mistakes was an essential part of working in public relations. Rhiannon told us not to take it to heart when people correct your work and give you constructive criticism.

Hannah Tagore, Director of Media and Communications for the Department of Fire and Emergency Services

Hannah told us to work for someone we believed in. She gave the example of the passion she feels when talking about her previous work with the Alzheimer’s Society. Hannah warned us to know where to draw the lines with journalists because they all want to be your best friend when you have information that could be of use to them but they can quickly turn nasty if you can’t give them what they want.

Andrew Mathwin, Strategy Team Leader with Clarity Communications

Andrew advised my table to get as much experience speaking as possible; whether it be giving presentations standing up in front of people or going to events and speaking to others. He said public relations agencies appreciate it when students show effort by doing their research on the company and asking to see them for a coffee. Andrew said he liked students who were creative, worked well under pressure and worked well in a team. He admitted he prioritised a good personality and work ethic over someone who just has good grades.

In summary:

“The public relations professionals who attended the PURE PR a la Carte advised us to believe in what we were doing, have a good attitude and get as much experience as you can so you can learn from your mistakes. I am so glad I attended the dinner and had the opportunity to get such helpful tips from well respected members of my industry” -Brooke Napijalo

“This was my third time attending PR a La Carte and I truly enjoyed the night. Not only is it a great chance for us students to see that the professionals in the industry are people just like ourselves who have had ups and downs in their careers, but they are also a great source of knowledge and to be able to pick their brains is invaluable. One of the professionals, Rhiannon Sloan, mentioned something to my table that really stayed with me. She reminded us about how many PR/Marketing and Media students graduate every year, say 150 from Murdoch, 150 from Curtin and 100 from ECU (don’t quote me on these numbers). This means that 400 graduates are fighting for the same few graduate positions every year just in WA. We all need to develop something that sets us apart from the rest, and this was a true eye-opener to me. Remembering how tough it can be to get a job will truly help me to stay motivated in finding new ways to excel and develop my skills ” – Jenny Ljunggren

“I love the concept of PR a La Carte. Sitting down to chat with the students over a meal is a relaxed and intimate way to share my thought and advice with everyone and I ended up having a great night”. – Rhiannon Sloan, Marketing Communications Coordinator with UXC Eclipse

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