Old media, new media, me media

13 Feb

My attempts to encourage students to blog on a voluntary basis have not, I admit, been a success. I’ve been in this job for three years (almost to the day), I’ve had a PR blog since 2001 (this one started in August 2003, replacing my previous effort), yet today I can introduce the first Leeds Met PR student to set up a blog as a result of my encouragement. Welcome Alex. (Her dissertation questions are challenging: can you answer them?)

I remain mystified that David and I are such enthusiasts while our students, who grew up with Google, don’t seem to get it. Why, in a young women’s profession, is it only the old men who blog?

Interestingly, the breakthrough for Alex seems to have been getting an article published in Behind the Spin (in print, and online). Perhaps it is still best to start with print…

UPDATE: I’ve had another first today. I’ve just taught my first all-male student class (on feature writing, a traditionally ‘female’ preserve compared with the ‘male’ activity of news writing). Must get gender off my mind…

UPDATE TWO: Chloe Chaplin (a first year PR student at Leeds Met) is also blogging.

7 Responses to “Old media, new media, me media”

  1. Stephen Davies 13/02/2006 at 2:30 pm #

    Hi Richard,
    I’ve done a quick Google blog search and there seems to be one or two Leeds students blogging:
    It’s interesting, because I read one or two comments of prospective students deciding on whether to study at your university. Could this be a new way to entice students to a particular university? Or at least listen to what their concerns are?
    I carried out a similar search sometime ago for Sunderland uni and found similar results.

  2. Richard Bailey 13/02/2006 at 2:45 pm #

    Thanks, Stephen. Most refer to the other university in Leeds, and none to our PR course (other than the ones I’m aware of). So I’ll still hold you up as the pinnacle of UK PR student blogging prowess, if I may…

  3. Chloe Chaplin 13/02/2006 at 8:21 pm #

    Hi Richard,
    I’ve actually started my own weblog but wanted to make it more substantial before telling anyone as I doubt many people would remember a blog with one or two comments on it!
    The address is http://www.pr-student.blogspot.com and hopefully soon it should start coming together and become a little more interesting…well for a first year PR student anyway!

  4. Richard Bailey 14/02/2006 at 10:37 am #

    Welcome Chloe. But don’t seek perfection at the start: online publications are not like paper. You can improve and perfect your style and approach as you go. (Look how imperfect the old hands are…)

  5. David Phillips 14/02/2006 at 2:25 pm #

    Lol…. well from one old blogger to another…
    I suspect there is a culture which hangs over Europe from another era. Institutions were always supposed to be the mouthpiece of the people (Governments, newspapers, councils, professional, trade and business associations).
    In many instances institutional communication was forced on us. More so across continental Europe. But we still have a ‘careless talk costs lives’ sub culture. It does not do to be forward. Children should be seen and not heard. Speaking out is speaking above your station. To be literate is socially unacceptable.
    Its rude to disagree. A public debate has to be in the forum and not in public. An academic disagreement has to follow the Queensbury rules.
    For politely brought up PR students its a bit rude to be published and its a not done to criticise established bloggers like the two old bloggers you mention.
    And just to be sure that I do not obey these rules I thought I would mention that it is ‘Marketing Communications’ (see this month’s edition of Profile) is the kiss of death to conversation and should be removed from the academic syllabus or, at least Universities should acknowledge their fudical duty and warn students that some of their courses are dangerous.

  6. Richard Bailey 14/02/2006 at 3:40 pm #

    How depressing: I’m an authority figure. (And I thought of myself as an agent provocateur.)

  7. Colin McKay 15/02/2006 at 7:44 pm #

    I’ve found that it does take a lot of nerve to launch a blog, and quite a bit of effort to keep slogging at it.
    The benefits can be quite hard to determine – especially in a world where a well-read PR blog is dwarfed by second or third tier political blogs.
    Still, the points I try to sell are: increased opportunity to write on self-selected subjects; establishing relationships with PROs around the world; and the development of an identity as a true professional outside your immediate (and most comfortable) surroundings.

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