Critical Reflection: A PR journey

I enrolled for university on a whim. Having just emigrated back to the motherland I was stuck for how to create a life in the United Kingdom. One thing I knew for certain, was the career path I wanted to pursue. As an adolescent, the dream was to become an actress (classic for a head strong, drama queen), but in my teens, I realised acting was a step too dramatic. As my parents would say, I’ve always had a way with words; being able to swear in context at the age of two was probably a sign of things to come.

So, the idea of a career within the media sphere, specialising in sport, came to mind whilst watching the Australian football league. Reporting live on the pitch for FOX Sports Australia was Mel McLaughlin. That was when I knew a job in the sporting media would suit me and became my career ambition. I wanted to be like Mel. She was professional, knowledgeable, and knew how to get what she wanted out of an interview. 

I had been relatively adamant throughout my high school years that I didn’t need a degree. The truth is you don’t need one. But when UWE accepted me to study a joint honours degree in Journalism and Public Relations, I knew that this was the right decision.

Now, with my second year almost ending, my career aspirations haven’t necessarily changed, but learning more about the ways of the PR industry has meant that many more options are available.

I remember the first PR lecture in year 1, I was very naïve. In all honestly, I didn’t have a clue about PR or how to define it. Almost 2 years down the line and I am finally grasping an understanding of this communications practice and that’s with thanks to the lectures, seminars and academic readings because there are so many aspects to consider. From stakeholder relationships, SEO, crisis communications management, traditional ethics, academic theories and adapting to a fast-paced digital era.

What I have learnt this year in Digital Communications Management is that with the current and growing digital landscape, the PR industry is now 24/7. It will keep you on your toes and under an element of pressure, which I thrive off. Media relations right now is all about fostering meaningful relationships, in person and on social media.

This year hasn’t been easy sailing. At the beginning, I found myself despondent and stuck for ideas to write about for this blog. Writing without a passion or interest for a topic shows on paper and led me to new heights in procrastination. By changing my surroundings, being more disciplined and researching, my work became more interesting.

I learn best through open discussions and real-life experiences. The CIPR Future Workforce workshop was where I got the most benefit. From listening to my PR superiors and engaging, I saw my confidence restored and renewed motivation to do well in this module.

I don’t think this is a conclusion as there is one more year left on the university clock and from then who knows what I’ll be doing or where in the world I will be based. But what I do know, is with a somewhat nomadic life thus far, a job in the PR industry could take me anywhere.

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