16 years ago I started my BAPR placement. Over the next decade, the basic mechanics of day-to-day PR didn’t really change much. In the next six, the pace of evolution started hotting up. The last two the practice of PR has changed beyond all recognition.
I’ve always said – to anyone that will listen – that the Bournemouth BAPR course gave me an unfair advantage in my career. But how on earth can an academic course keep up with the changes wrought on PR by all manner of external (and internal) factors? It’s hard enough when you work in the London tech PR scene every day (arguably the sector most exposed to change), read everything you can (and I mean, everything), and attend every conference that might give you leading edge insight.
Over a few drinks Samuel Hall (a seriously successful BAPR grad), Tom Cheesewright (a talented shared former colleague, sadly not of BAPR breeding) and I decided we’d try and answer the impossible question: what does the future of PR hold for PR & media students?
So what makes us credible speakers? Why should you come and spend two hours of your time listening to us three whitter on? Here’s the pitch (I haven’t run this past Sam or Tom, as they’re modest types):
Tom’s a futurist. His job is to help organisations and professions analyse the current and predict the future. His background is in PR, digital marketing, robotics, analytics – all kinds of geeky stuff. He’s on stage addressing conferences weekly, working with major brands and – you’ll probably have seen him – often on the BBC or Channel 4 helping the great unwashed understand what technology advances mean to them.
Tom’s up first and will give his tone-setting vision for the future of PR as an industry. What kind of work will we be doing? For whom? To achieve what? It’ll be fascinating stuff. And not particularly comfortable.
Sam’s recently rejoined Oracle, the world’s largest software company, and handles comms for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Before that, he headed up social at Vodafone. Previously, Sam’s worked for a number of successful tech PR agencies. He’s a regular speaker on, well, just about anything linked to PR, social and communications.
Sam’s going to ensure we finish with a flourish. He’s going to tackle a critically important subject: where does PR ‘fit’ in the competitive marketing landscape? How’s that set to evolve in the future?
And then there’s me. The disappointing, slightly limp and past its best filling between two slices of award-winning, artisanal bread.
Richard Fogg, Managing Director, CCgroup PR: The future of PR skills and talent
I don’t have a huge number of claims to fame, though I’m probably the only BAPR grad to have bought their placement company. But aside from that, devising the strategic plan for a London-based PR agency fit for 2014 and beyond has brought me right up-to-speed with the skills, attitudes and individuals I need to be successful. And after interviewing hundreds of people, I’ve got a (depressingly good) sense of what’s out there and what you need to do to stand out.
So, going between Tom and Sam, I’m going to identify what employers need from future PR practitioners.
If all goes to plan (it won’t) you’ll leave with an understanding of what the future holds for the PR sector, what skills you need to succeed and how that will play out in the never-ending battle for PR supremacy.
Hope you can spare us a couple of hours on Wednesday October 15th, between 13:00 and 15:00. Maybe see you then.