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Good times for PR Week

15 Sep

PrweekThose who can remember the ‘PR Weak’ taunts of a previous satirical blog and the welcome given to PR Business, a short-lived competitor, should acknowledge the recent improvements to our weekly trade paper.

Here are some of them. The industry sector focus (on technology, healthcare etc) – though the paper still has a blind spot when it comes to education and training; the improved features (there’s a grown-up debate on the future of PR in the current issue); the weekly interview-based profile of a prominent practitioner; the availability of news via RSS; but above all the recent news scoops around the 10 Downing Street communications team. This has culminated in a piece by editor Danny Rogers in today’s Media Guardian.

Magazine 2.0

31 Mar

BehindthespinNow, after a short hiatus, we’re publishing Behind the Spin magazine. Please take a look, leave a comment, help spread the word – and consider writing for us. There’s a forward features list and the online format means we can update more frequently than this. I’m also keen to appoint a news editor.

Print isn’t dead. (We aim to produce an annual print publication derived from the best of the online magazine.) But the WordPress magazine format we’ve chosen (‘blogazine’) has the advantage of speed, reduced costs, global reach, automatic archiving and Google indexing for authors’ names and keywords. The format also allows for an ongoing discussion that was never possible in an infrequent magazine.

I’d welcome your ideas (a good suggestion I’ve received is to establish a network of international contributors). We can get bigger and better but that we’ve made this start is entirely thanks to a team of volunteers: writers, photographers, editors and, above all, our website developer Simon Wakeman.

Putting blogs in their place

17 Dec

When blogging first became popular (2003 was the point of take off and by 2006 bloggers had become Time’s person of the year) the fear was that the public sphere would be swamped by trivial, undigested, self-obsessed rantings.

Compared to newspaper or magazine journalism, blogs seemed ill-considered, ill-informed and unaccountable. What was the point of all this chatter?

That was then. We were comparing blogs with what we’d previously known: print journalism. Now, there’s a more favourable comparison. Compared to the semi-public (and barely literate) conversations on social media sites like Facebook (2007’s ‘new new thing’) blogs seem considered, valuable and highly literate. The froth has gone, but there’s something substantial left. Yet rather than being too quick and easy, the criticism now comes from those who find the process of blogging too ponderous, too dull and without an immediate feedback loop.

Publishing_ecosystem_1_4It’s time to take a fresh look at where blogging stands in the publishing ecosystem, first in terms of ‘immediacy’ and ‘interactivity’. Click to enlarge image.

Next, let’s look at different means of communication in terms of ‘speed’ and ‘reflectiveness’ (a measure of how considered the communications is).

Comms_ecosystem_2 I think this places blogging in a unique position in terms of combining speed with a high degree of reflection. (This rare combination has also been the strength of the traditional diary, reflecting on recent events on a daily basis. Does anyone keep diaries today?)

Behind the Spin: call for contributions

22 Oct

BehindthespinIssue 18 of the UK’s ‘public relations magazine for students and young practitioners’, to be published in March 2008, will have two main themes:

  • Public Affairs (eg lobbying, political PR, issues management)
  • PR for transport (bicycles, cars, planes, trains, space rockets etc)

Proposals to write articles on these themes are welcome now. We also welcome articles on perennial themes such as careers in PR and the value of a PR degree. As well as writers, I’m looking for photographers and editorial assistants.

You can contact me (the editor) via the comment box or by email r[dot]s[dot]bailey[at]leedsmet[dot]ac[dot]uk or through the email link on the right.

The food issue

16 May

Btsjan07 Food is nutritional, fashionable, cultural and political. It’s also big business.

Now that issue 16 of Behind the Spin (the environmental issue) has been published, we’re looking for ideas for issue 17 of the public relations magazine for students and young practitioners. You could write about:

That’s without mentioning drink. But what are your ideas? Brief proposals are welcome now (copy deadline will be in August). Please send your ideas to John Hitchins or to me.

Remember, remember fifteenth of December

1 Dec

Contributions are arriving for the next issue of the UK PR student magazine, Behind the Spin (copy deadline 15 December).

This is a public reminder for those who’ve promised articles but have yet to submit them. And a reminder that there’s still time to come forward with new ideas, particularly if they relate to our two main themes:

  • PR for fashion and beauty
  • The public relations consultancy business

Articles are welcome from students, practitioners and academics. The editorial contact for this issue is me: r[dot]s[dot]bailey@leedsmet[dot]ac[dot]uk


13 Oct

Pr_writers_handbook_1Spot the error? (If you can’t, it’s to do with a missing apostrophe.) In defence of the publishers, Wiley, this book doesn’t come out until April 2007 so there’s time to fix the cover. Presumably their authors do know how to write; perhaps it’s their designer who doesn’t. (That’s an ugly sentence, but I’m showing off two apostrophes.)

Or maybe they think there’s no need to bother with apostrophes in the digital age…