Blessed are the newsmakers

3 Jul

I see my university is advertising for a ‘news officer’ (I’m on leave so I’ve not discussed this with anyone).

I like the title: it acknowledges the importance of news to any organisation, and distinguishes ‘news’ from ‘press’ or ‘media’. A university has to think of many stakeholders and the news media are not necessarily first and foremost among these (though they remain important).

Yet I’m surprised that we’re asking for ‘an energetic, creative journalist’ to fill this vacancy. For one thing, this large university doesn’t train journalists, but it does have a strong reputation for public relations education. A previous postholder had been a local newspaper reporter, but she subsequently graduated from one of our professional PR courses – and is now working in communications management. Shouldn’t we practice what we teach?

2 Responses to “Blessed are the newsmakers”

  1. Mark Dorey 04/07/2006 at 3:49 pm #

    Interesting…seems to me like its a solid public relations role to me! Having just gained my 2.1 degree in Public Relations – maybe you could recommend me for the role Richard! I’m keen to stay in Leeds and would think I have the distinct advantage of knowing a lot about the university and its change practices! What do you think…

  2. Richard Bailey 05/07/2006 at 8:18 am #

    You’ve confirmed the points I was trying to make, Mark. First, it is a public relations post (though, as so often, it’s been given a different name); and second, it should be open to good PR graduates.
    But it looks like an ideal second job, rather than a first job after graduating. You do have 12 months corporate PR experience which should count, but probably need another two years under your belt. But don’t let me discourage you from applying (I have no involvement in or influence over the selection process.)

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