theMediaPod Dinner – sharing my PR journey

Last night I was honoured to be invited to dine with PR students from Deakin university for one of theMediaPod sessions, an extra curricular which they host for students who want to further explore their future professions. Held at La Notte in Carlton (delicious food and an ideal private function area), the dinner set the scene for a casual chat about what it’s like to work in PR. And chat we did!

The group had some intelligent questions and I could have talked for hours about new communications and the changing landscape of PR, daily activity and the different kinds of PR such as consumer/FMCG and corporate reputation management. I did my best to keep on track but found myself going off on tangents realising along the way that there could be an eBook on the horizon…

Here are a few of my thoughts:

  • consume as much media as possible so you get to know the media outlets and their journalists
  • push your boundaries: think about other ways of saying/doing/seeing/writing about things
  • nurture your relationships with media
  • get the basics right: correct spelling, grammar and attention to detail is important
  • be flexible but don’t compromise your integrity
  • be resilient and able to take criticism (and rejection!) constructively
  • never underestimate the power of a phone call and face-to-face
  • don’t forget your manners!

I would like to thank the delightful  Chloe Partikas for putting me forward as a ‘person of interest’. I met Chloe one Friday morning at socialmelb a week or two earlier where we chatted about her very exciting work placement in Sydney later this year.

Thank you Ross Monaghan – it was so great to finally meet you and thank you in person for the help you offered a year ago when I was trying to remotely access my work server! It’s wonderful that you have theMediaPod sessions; your students are lucky to have you as a mentor and inspiration.

A fantastic group of people – definitely ones to watch!

PS: keep an eye on the parkyoung Facebook for news of the potential eBook (ok, now that I’ve put it out there, it has to happen!)

PPS: here is a lovely recount of the evening from one of the students – Lauren – in her beautiful blog Paper Aeroplane (thanks lovely! x)


Collaborate (and listen)

Ok, so not really focusing on the ‘listen’ part but the song just flowed when I started thinking about the value in collaboration this morning. The thought popped into my mind this morning at 6.20 am as I was cycling on the exercise bike reading while reading a book at the same time. I love reading but usually by the time I get to my book at the end of the day I am just too sleepy to get past a few pages. Cycling has become a little boring of late but is best done in the morning before it gets to hot and I get too tired. So, being able to knock both activities off at the same time – in a collaboration of reading and exercising – I am able to get great value for time, focus and energy.

Of course this is just a trivial example of the value-add of collaboration. The main star in the collaborative show for me is the richness of content and information when bringing together the different elements of PR and Communications. When used appropriately, great results can happen with a strategic mix of online social media, traditional media relations and face-to-face communication. These can work well as separate entities but when brought together in the right amounts at the right times, magic can happen.

NB: there is a great role that ‘listening’ plays in the general theme of this post but that would best be thought through in a separate post…

I really am about the Value-Add!

Recently honoured with the opportunity to contribute to the Public Relations Institute of Australia newsletter themed ‘Passion and Creativity’, I detailed my experiences of working in PR and how social media has brought many treasures into my life. The article is aimed at new practitioners starting out in the industry, and those considering communications as their career path.

In writing this article, I have found great joy in being available to others who may have questions about working in the PR communications space. I would have appreciated finding someone with whom I felt comfortable picking their brain when I was starting out. So if I can assist in any way with your queries about PR, communications or social media please don’t hesitate to ask and I will happily do my best to answer your questions.

Although I must insert a disclaimer here – my opinions and feedback is based on the past four years (well, almost 4!) working in PR communications with three very different consultancies, and any advice I do give is probably what I would do if I were in your situation. “All care, no responsibility” is the clause I think I may be looking for…