Looking back, and forward planning
About the author
Ann is a co-founder of PR Academy. Her special areas of interest are internal communication, change management and project communication. MSc, Dip CAM, MCIPR
We’ve been running PR Place for two years, and we’re taking a break during August. This post reviews some highlights to date and announces some planned changes.
PR Place began as the merging of PR Academy’s blog with the Behind the Spin student website run by Richard Bailey. Selected posts from these two sources are still available in the PR Place archive.
We announced plans for PR Place at the one-day Mind the PR Gap conference attended by academics and practitioners at Birmingham City University in July 2017, started working on content soon after and went public in November 2017.
We stand by our original aim: to bridge the gap between academics and practitioners in public relations and communication; to champion the role of education and professional development and to support individuals in their drive to gain a deeper understanding of the field and to become professionally qualified.
Now, as we approach the two year anniversary, we’re making some changes. PR Place is to revert to the PR Academy website. Our purpose is the same: we aim to deliver a similar mix of editorial content; but we want to avoid the time and costs involved in maintaining and managing two websites. For the sake of clarity, consistency and cost, one is better than two.
Here’s a quantitative assessment of our outputs since launch.
- Over 300 posts published since September 2017
- 12 downloadable guides produced – the most popular to date being: Developing and writing a communication strategy; Storytelling for PR and internal comms; Stakeholder identification and mapping
- A doubling of registered members in the past year
- A PR Calendar of industry and academic events that’s our second-most viewed page after the home page
- Over 20 new academic and practitioner books reviewed
- Guest posts from 16 PR Academy alumni and PR graduates
We’ve also started some ongoing series:
- #ThisWeekinPR: a curated summary of industry news and commentary published each Friday morning
- Dear Dr Heather Yaxley: a feature addressing careers questions in public relations
- #50over50: Our hand-picked selection of those, whether celebrated or unsung, who demonstrate the value of experience and longevity
- #bestPRblogs: We have continued to champion PR student blogging
Other sites are strong on news and commentary, but our belief that there was a thirst for a deeper understanding of the field has been vindicated by a quick glance at our most visited posts.
Among these are some essays summarising academic thinking: PR as communication management, as reputation management, as relationship management and so on. Not exciting, perhaps, but certainly useful to many. (We’ve since pulled these essays together into one of our downloadable guides: What is public relations?).
There’s much more that we hope to achieve: more of the same, but also some new outputs, starting with podcasts. We’ll continue to report on the landscape of public relations education and the competing and overlapping roles of the various membership bodies. We’ll continue to make academic work accessible to learners, and to encourage academics to engage with the concerns of practitioners.
We’re currently consulting on whether there’s a thirst for a follow-up academic-practitioner summit in 2020 and would welcome your views on this.
But in the meantime, if you’re taking some time off over the summer, we wish you a restful time and hope you’re able to take a break from the incessant demands of work and the clamour of social media.