What do you do when you work at a PR agency? It is difficult for communication students to get a good picture of daily practice as a PR consultant. What capacities are needed for this? What is the role of PR agencies for business and how does the relationship with media work? Since 2016, De Wolven has been teaching about our experiences during the public relations course to students at The New School in Amsterdam. This school was voted the best small-scale higher professional education for marketing, communication and creativity by the Keuzegids hbo 2020 for the fifth time this year.
Approach: examples from the media
With a higher professional education, you try to ensure that the education is as close as possible to practice. The public relations course is precisely such a course where this is easy. From discussions about the impact of a PR stunt such as ‘Victim Fashion, created by accident’, the question of whether campaigns with influencers such as Magnums sleeping parties trigger something in millennials, and spotting publicity opportunities in newspapers and magazines. They were able to directly apply the knowledge acquired in the lessons in work assignments. In addition, the students visited interesting image determiners such as the editorial boards of Vice, Trouw, NOS and DWDD in order to gain insight into their working methods but also to investigate their own career opportunities.
Result: inspiring plans
Many roads lead to Rome, that also applies to PR. Of course there are preconditions for how to write a good press release, for example, but within those frameworks there is room for creativity. We also use this view in our teaching approach. Yes, there is attention for theory, but you learn more from current examples: what works and what doesn’t work and why is that so? To put their ideas into practice, the students received an existing PR case with the request to develop a creative plan. Successfully! We even shared some of the insights from the plans with customers.
Jill Bakker, senior PR advisor
“From influencer event to PR stunt, a press release or a communication campaign. It is just a selection of challenges in our work. With our versatile and practical knowledge we can inspire students to think about a well-designed and creative PR approach. And be honest, that’s just a lot of fun! In addition, we want to include talented wolves in our pack in the future. So where is it better to start lobbying for the beauty profession than at school!”