My blog is written from the perspective of a PR student, sharing hints and tips about getting your foot on the career ladder and entering the working world of public relations as a fresh-faced, wide-eyed graduate.
Anyone and everyone studying a PR degree is encouraged to write their own blog and create their own online content. I knew that in order to stand out from the crowd of PR-related blogs and raise my own profile, I had to do something a little bit different.
I’d like to say an awful lot of thought went into the concept of #raisingtheprofile, but in fact it was one of those Eureka moments, lying in bed late one night when I just couldn’t get to sleep. I decided I would interview established PR practitioners about how they got into the industry, as well as asking them to share advice about what PR students should be doing to raise their own profile in a very competitive job market.
Following the post, I would then ask the PR pro to take part in a Twitter chat using the hashtag #raisingtheprofile. Here PR students, interns and job hunters could further explore the career advice given in the interview and pose questions of their own that perhaps wasn’t covered in the initial blog post.
The day after the Twitter chat, I would then post a summary of the conversation, focusing specifically on the lessons I had learned from the PR pros advice, and encourage others who had participated in #raisingtheprofile to comment with the lessons they had learned too.
After running the idea past my lecturer and getting the green light, I began contacting the big-wigs of the PR world. I honestly don’t know what I expected, but I was overwhelmed when people like Sandy Lindsay, Group MD of Tangerine PR and Juice Digital, and Stephen Waddington, MD of Speed Communications agreed to take part.
Before long, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations [CIPR] had got wind of what I was doing as part of my blog. They wanted to be involved in helping to promote #raisingtheprofile to PR students up and down the country. What started out as an idea in my bedroom was now going live and nationwide!
Last Monday saw the first #raisingtheprofile blog post with the Twitter chat taking place on Wednesday and the follow up blog post happening on Thursday. I was thrilled with how many PR students took part, how many PR pros were retweeting the links to my blog, and the general feedback about the whole concept of #raisingtheprofile.
I know it’s still early days for #raisingtheprofile, but where do I see it going in the future? Since the launch of the project, a number of PR pros have been in touch wanting to take part as interviewees. So, I hope more and more people want to get involved so I can keep sharing all this great career advice with fellow PR students and other people in my shoes.
I’ve put an awful lot of work into physically getting #raisingtheprofile up and running, and so I’d hate for it to fall by the wayside as and when I enter the working world. Maybe as I start my PR career, Raising the Profile and #raisingtheprofile will evolve with me, or maybe I’ll hand the reigns to another PR student to take over – of course providing the project continues to be a success.
Ultimately, I hope #raisingtheprofile ‘does what it says on the tin’ for me. I’ve tried something different, I’ve put myself out there and (fingers crossed) it seems to have worked. Hopefully, I will have grabbed the attention of potential employers out there, and maybe I’ll be one of the lucky ones who manage to get their foot on the first rung of the career ladder in an ever competitive job market.
To find out who else has signed up to take part over the coming weeks, check out my blog or follow me on Twitter. And don’t forget to get involved with the #raisingtheprofile conversation – I really look forward to chatting with you then.
Anne-Marie Bailey is currently a Master of Arts student at the University of Sunderland studying Public Relations. You can follow her on Twitter @AM_Bailey and her blog. #raisingtheprofile will begin on Twitter at 7pm tonight with Stephen Waddington (@Wadds) and 7pm tomorrow with Jane Wilson (@CEO_CIPR), make sure you join in the conversations and ask those questions you've been dying to know the answers to!