In this blog post I will discuss how the unit structure of my course has improved the understanding I have of Public Relations.
Studying a course that is split into four separate units has enabled my first year to run smoothly and has not been too overwhelming for me. The course being split into different elements (Media & Communication, Foundations of PR, Introduction to Studying PR and Understanding Business & Brands) has allowed me to break up the hugely broad subject that is known as PR and identify which elements I prefer, which in turn will hopefully enable me to figure out which style of PR may be best suited to me career-wise.
The 'Introduction to Studying PR' unit was incredibly helpful as a starting point for this course, as it put Public Relations into perspective as well as university life as a whole. This unit assisted in evolving and developing my opinions of PR and enabled me to feel prepared for the other upcoming units as well as helping me develop my academic knowledge such as Harvard referencing and academic journals etc. I also learned a lot about self-reflection which I believe will invaluable to me for the future, both inside and outside of work.
'Foundations of PR' allowed me to understand how to apply things that was taught in lectures, for example press releases are often mentioned, and doing this hands-on enabled me to see how this would apply to a real-life situation in the workplace. This unit also helped me further my presentation skills, in particular by doing small campaigns every week, as I am now more confident in presenting my work across all units. I am sure that the things I learned in this unit will come of great value to be in my second year, when I do an industry-based placement.
'Media and Communication' was particularly interesting to me, as it incorporated aspects of sociology (which I studied at A-Level) alongside the things that we come across as consumers in everyday life. Learning numerous techniques used by the media and advertisers also provided a link to the 'Foundations of PR' unit, as campaigns could be based around specific promotion techniques.
By studying corporations in depth in the 'Understanding Business and Brands' unit, I was able to gain depth and meaning into the reasons behind why a brand or PR practitioner does the things that it does. I was able to analyse brands such as Zara from a fact-based viewpoint rather than subjectively. I strongly believe that this will help me in the future when I go into the PR industry, as I will understand the things that are needed to make a brand and their reputation successful.
Overall, I am happy with the four key units that I have studied and I feel like I have gained much needed and appreciated knowledge from my studies so far.