Students studying Media Relations went to the coal face to meet the man in charge of PR for one of Liverpool’s leading cultural attractions.
Sometimes to understand how PR works, you just have to be there. That’s why PR tutors make a point of taking students out into the real world to find out more. A group of six students met Dominic Beaumont, head of Public Relations for the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres. It is much easier for students to understand what is needed to work in PR, and to see themselves in those roles, if they get a chance to see the reality.
This visit was one of a number organized by the PR team at Edge Hill University. (This injection of culture followed a similar trip to find out how Everton Football Club deals with the media circus.) Students toured the theatre, looking behind the scenes and getting a sense of the environment in which the marketers, communicators and others work. They then heard from, and had a chance to question, Dominic, who regularly organizes national print and broadcast coverage of the two theatres. The Everyman reopened a few years ago after a massive renovation exercise. Dominic talked the students through the campaign to get media coverage of the relaunch, while answering questions about targeting, generating ideas and keeping journalists informed. Balancing the needs of Radio 4’s Front Row programme with the demands of the Guardian and the constant clamour for local news from the Liverpool Echo is not always easy. Students heard how the balancing act is managed, with tact, persistence and quite a bit of humour.
Says PR Lecturer Paula Keaveney: “ Organising visits for students is more complicated than running a classroom session. We do this though to help them think, even in first year, about the world of work and about making contacts. As we were leaving, Dominic was already answering extra questions from one of the group and I know he’ll be happy to be contacted again”.
Students from the Public Relations degree course at Edge Hill University have been learning more about the beautiful game.
First and second years visited the Communications team at Everton FC to hear about how the club works with journalists, opinion formers, fans and other audiences.
The visitors saw the press room, the Everton TV base, and the various interview spots that viewers will recognise from all those post-match interviews. They even experienced the walk along the tunnel and onto the pitch (and it really is narrow!)
PR team member at Goodison, Mo Maghazachi explained about the challenges of getting players to take part in media interviews after a loss (fewer challenges for Everton than for some other teams!) and about how the Premier League ensures the media get the comments and footage needed.
The visit was arranged because PR work can sometimes only be understood in the places it is carried out. Says PR Lecturer Paula Keaveney: “We love it when speakers visit us, but we love it even more when we can visit them. Students got a much better understanding of this type of sports PR from seeing the set up for themselves”
Other visits planned on the PR or related degrees include a major theatre and a trip to the House of Commons.
Edge Hill Lecturer Paula Keaveney has been spending a week teaching students studying media in Brussels. And it’s hoped that links between the Belgian University IHECS and Edge Hill’s own Media Department will mean more opportunities for UK students to broaden their horizons.
Paula spent time with students planning to specialise in PR and journalism, as well as those wanting to learn more about Politics. She gave lectures on Euroscepticism and the Referendum Campaigns, on how to analyse and make speeches, and on the UK party system and challenges facing the Labour Party.
IHECS is one of the Universities in Europe with which Edge Hill’s Media Department has a special partnership. The idea is that UK students can spend a Semester, or a year, taking modules ranging from photography to lobbying, from graphic design to planning communication campaigns. Edge Hill students can gain from the experience of studying abroad. And students from Europe bring different perspectives to the courses running in Ormskirk.
Says Paula: “It was great to have the chance to build links with staff working on fascinating communications courses. Now I have seen what IHECS does it is much easier for me to advise UK students on applying to spend time there”
IHECS runs a suite of courses taught in English, so UK students do not need to be fluent in French or Flemish. Visitors do however benefit from short French courses and can return to the UK with much improved language skills.
Claire Hamilton, one of the BBC’s political correspondents in the North West, paid a visit to Edge Hill’s Public Relations course earlier this month (February). Claire is based in Liverpool at BBC Radio Merseyside where she reports for both radio and TV. Edge Hill already has links with the broadcaster. Students have been on visits and staff take part in the breakfast programme on a regular basis. Claire’s visit was an opportunity to make those links stronger.
The reporter joined first year students studying media relations, aka the art of getting stories printed, broadcast or on the web. It is an essential part of Public Relations, and can only work if relationships with journalists are strong and if PR people understand what makes a good news story.
Claire discussed her work and how stories are researched and covered. Students watched, and then discussed her most recent piece of coverage, a Sunday Politics piece about the forthcoming mayoral elections and what Brexit might mean for the candidates. Candidates had been filmed in different locations and were trying out different messages. Students discussed how these choices were made. And then it was up to the team. Groups worked on their own proposal for a hypothetical launch with the BBC visitor giving feedback about what would, and wouldn’t, work for programme makers.
Claire’s visit is one of a series featuring journalists and broadcasters. Previous speakers have included TV editor Peter Berry and print journalist Ollie Cowan. Says Senior Lecturer in PR Paula Keaveney; “ it’s really important that students understand and experience the reality of media relations as well as the theory. Working with the media effectively needs both planning and an ability to make quick changes as the news agenda moves on. We make a point of providing these real-world opportunities for our students”
Public Relations at Edge Hill can be studied as a Single Honours degree or in combination with Politics or Marketing.
Talks, workshops and more.
20th of FEBRUARY – 23rd of FEBRUARY 2017
The Employability Week in February 2017 has three days of activities, workshops and sessions for students at all levels of study. From Career Planning to Study Skills to Studying Abroad, there’s something for all year groups and degree subjects. The week offers students with the opportunity to meet industry professionals, and to devote some time and thought to future career plans. Students can consider whether their next step is postgraduate study, or if they believe that a freelance career is for them asking professionals in a one-to-one clinic. Students can even learn tips to get noticed in job applications for the summer.
Below is a list of events, and links to click for bookings.
MED DISSERTATION WORKSHOP FOR 2ND YEARS
10.00-11.00am, Monday 20th February – CE Lecture Theatre
This session introduces 2nd year Media students to the Dissertation module in year 3. We will introduce the process of getting a supervisor, writing a proposal, the assessments and potential topics.
Please note: the Film Studies Dissertation Workshop takes place at a later date.
To book click here:
WORKING IN FREELANCE
11.00am-1.00pm – CE 005, Monday 20th February
Most people working in the media industries, apart from managerial positions, tend to work freelance: moving from job to job, and company to company. Here you can learn about the exciting, challenging world of freelance and the key elements required to help you set yourself up as a freelancer.
To book click here: https://careerhub.edgehill.ac.uk/students/events/detail/669559
SETTING YOURSELF UP AS A FREELANCER
1.00pm – CE 005, Monday 20th February
Practical guidance from experts on becoming a freelancer. This is a one-to-one clinic where you can ask individual questions and get advice on how to set yourself up. Recommended for anyone who wants to go into the media industry and is getting closer to graduation.
To book click here: https://careerhub.edgehill.ac.uk/students/events/detail/669746
FILM STUDIES MODULE CHOICES
2.00pm – CE 003, Monday 20th February
This is a compulsory session for all first and second year Film Studies and Film Studies with Film Production students. You will receive information on your module choices for next year and will have the opportunity to ask questions about their content and assessments.
Please note the time for your year group:
2.00pm: First Year Students
2.30pm: Second Year Students
To book click here:https://careerhub.edgehill.ac.uk/students/events/detail/669747
STUDY SKILLS: FINDING ACADEMIC INFORMATION FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT
3.00pm – CE Lecture Theatre, Monday 20th February
Study experts from Learning Services are on hand to enable you to develop the skills needed to research for your assignments. Feel free to bring specific questions too. All years welcome – it’s never too late or too early to learn more.
To book click here: https://careerhub.edgehill.ac.uk/students/events/detail/669748
4.00pm – CE 202, Monday 20th February
This event will be hosted by Derek Murray and booking will be organized through EventBrite. Details to follow.
CAREERS PLANNING: ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR EMPLOYMENT RIGHT NOW
11.00am – CE 003, Tuesday 21st February
What have you got and what are you missing? It’s essential to have a personal perspective on what skills make you employable. You may have skills you don’t even realise! This session will help you to become a self-aware and more employable person.
To book click here:https://careerhub.edgehill.ac.uk/students/events/detail/669750
CAREERS PLANNING: MAKING YOUR JOB APPLICATION STAND OUT FOR THIS SUMMER
12.00pm – CE 003, Tuesday 21st February
It’s time to start thinking about how you can make the summer count for you, whether it’s to get some cash or to build your skillset. This session will help to focus your plans and make your application jump out above the others.
To book click here:https://careerhub.edgehill.ac.uk/students/events/detail/669751
POSTGRADUATE STUDY AT EDGE HILL
1.00pm – CE 003, Tuesday 21st February
Rachel Buckley and Andrea Wright will take this session for any students interested in pursuing a postgraduate degree in the Media Department. Bring along your questions about studying at a higher level too.
To book click here:https://careerhub.edgehill.ac.uk/students/events/detail/669752
STUDY SKILLS: ACADEMIC WRITING WORKSHOP
2.00pm – CE 202, Tuesday 21st February
This is a rare chance to concentrate on your writing and your writing alone. This session gives you advice and guidance on bringing out the academic in you.
To book click here:https://careerhub.edgehill.ac.uk/students/events/detail/669753
STUDY SKILLS: IMPROVING YOUR GRAMMAR & PROOF-READING
3.00PM – CE 202, Tuesday 21st February
One of the essential parts of getting your argument and your learning across to someone on the page is writing clearly. Often it’s grammar and spelling that prevent your message from getting across, so this is the ideal opportunity to properly concentrate just on that.
To book click here:https://careerhub.edgehill.ac.uk/students/events/detail/669754
POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE & TEACHING
11.00am – CE 202, Wednesday 22nd February
If you’re interested in acquiring a qualification that may lead to a career in teaching, then this session is for you. Find out what the PG Certificate entails and bring your questions along.
To book click here:https://careerhub.edgehill.ac.uk/students/events/detail/669755
MODULE CHOICES: FILM & TELEVISION PRODUCTION
1.00pm – CE Lecture Theatre, Wednesday 22nd February
This is a compulsory session for Film & Television Production students in years 1 and 2. You will receive information on your module choices for next year and will have the opportunity to ask questions about their content and assessments.
Note: year 1 session is at 12 noon; year 2 session is at 1.30pm.
To book click here:
MODULE CHOICES: MEDIA FILM & TELEVISION LEVEL 4 STUDENTS
1.00pm – CE001, Wednesday 22nd February
This is a compulsory session for Media, Film & Television students in year 1. You will receive information on your module choices for next year and will have the opportunity to ask questions about their content and assessments.
3.00pm – CE 202, Wednesday 22nd February
This session is for students from years 1 and 2 only. Come along to find out what opportunities there may be.
To book click here:https://careerhub.edgehill.ac.uk/students/events/detail/669757
Senior Labour MP, Steve Rotheram joined students studying Politics earlier this month (February)
Mr Rotheram is a Liverpool MP who also acts as PPS to party leader Jeremy Corbyn. A PPS is a sort of assistant who works closely with a senior politician providing advice, assistance and feedback.
As part of his talk, the visitor explained how the team prepare Corbyn for events such as Prime Ministers Questions. He gave an insight into the approaches developed to quiz both David Cameron and Theresa May.
Steve Rotheram is also a candidate in the forthcoming “Metro Mayor” elections. These are new positions which will see more powers devolved to some areas. Students discussed the role, the nature of devolution and how parts of the north could work together on issues.
The Politics course makes a point of making contact with practicing politicians from across the political spectrum. Previous speakers have included Government minister Paul Maynard MP and Lib Dem MP John Pugh.
Says Senior Lecturer Paula Keaveney: “ There is a difference between talking about politics and doing politics. We are keen to make sure students understand the realities of the topic as well as the key ideological theories they need to understand”.
Future projects include a visit to Parliament, a visit to the Green Party Spring Conference and a visit to the Conservative Party Conference.
Students can study Politics with History, Law, Public Relations or Sociology.