In follow up to the previous post (about students in the workplace) and spurred by a rather heated internal discussion about the extent to which PR students should be steered towards or away from media relations in their first year at university, I’ve done some counting.
I took ten students I’ve assessed in the workplace (eight in-house, two in consultancies) and I’ve allocated ten marks for each depending on the extent of their work in some common areas of activity. So these rough-and-ready figures are percentages of placement student time devoted to the following activities, in descending order:
- Media relations (48%)
- Community relations (15%)
- Event management (12%)
- Marketing communications (10%)
- Social media engagement (10%)
- Internal communications (5%)
The surprise isn’t that media relations is way ahead as the primary activity (it will always have been there for junior employees in public relations), but that community relations and social media activities are becoming more prominent. But my sample is small: the social media engagement figure represents one student whose whose sole focus this was for a not-for-profit organisation; the community relations activity reflects two students whose primary focus this was.
Had I included more students working in consultancies, the media relations figure would almost certainly have topped 50%. So should we teach it?