Friday 31 July 2015

Abchurch’s University Shadow Day: Thanks Y’All!

As the London representative of IPREX, Abchurch recently had the opportunity to host a group of communications students from Georgia Southern University. The trip was organised by IPREX so that these future PR Professionals could gain some first-hand insight into the industry. It was eventful day that included a presentation by CEO Julian Bosdet on how PR works, a social media presentation and even an opportunity for the students to participate in a brainstorm.

For Abchurch, one of the best parts of this experience was reading what the students had to say about the day in their blogposts.

It seems many students enjoyed trying their hand at PR, and one of our visitors even went as far as to describe the brainstorming session as an, “… incredibly cool hands-on look into how that firm handles choosing various pitch and marketing ideas.”

Another student wrote, “They gave us the chance to brainstorm some ideas for a new project using the communication tool kit. Doing this made me so excited to get into the world of Public Relations.”

And their enthusiasm was contagious – the Abchurch team really enjoyed hearing what the students had to say. We couldn’t agree more with the student who wrote, “It was pretty amazing to see how a simple discussion (which is part of a larger creative formula) could potentially help a brand find success in a new market.”

But a shadow day isn’t all about work – it was also an opportunity for Abchurch to shape the image of PR professionals among the next generation of graduates. We seem to have done well, at least in one young person’s mind. “When Dr. Groover told the class we are going to a PR firm my mind automatically made them stuck up PR people who don’t love their jobs. I was surprised with how professional and fun the experience was.”

She went on to say, “Public Relations is not my major, but the experience at Abchurch made me think differently of PR professionals.”

One of the most valuable outcomes of this visit is that students were able to see academic theory in action. One student noted, “Recently, I had to write a blog post about the use of different social media platforms in the workplace. It was interesting for me to see how the information that I had found on the topic aligned with that of Abchurch.”

Of course, there are going to be big differences between the classroom and the workplace, as noted by another student, “I have taken several public relations classes; therefore, I feel as if I am fully prepared for the writing part of public relations. However, class cannot prepare me for the actual business environment. I enjoyed seeing everything in action and learning about what working in a corporate public relations firm entails.”

Of course, every PR person knows you can’t give all your secrets away, as noted by one of our undergrad guests, “Though I could not figure out how [Jamie] managed to get his hair to look both tousled but put together, his presentation on social media messages was flawless.”

Overall, both sides seemed to have benefitted from the experience. Our young American friends gained some real-world experience but Abchurch was also reminded that young graduates, who have never had a more difficult time entering the workforce, offer something just as valuable as years of industry experience: fresh ideas that will shape the future of the PR profession.

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