With a subject area like Public Relations, it is vital to be able to bring to bear scenarios from professional practice, and top-notch speakers who can grab students’ interests. This can be with a view to providing the arena for deep reflection on the relevance of theoretical concepts discussed on the course – and for students to be able to develop their own new solutions to creative problems and responses to emerging trends.
This term is already set to be an exciting one for the PR and Communications degree at the University of Greenwich welcoming guest speakers who turn heads and inspire such reflection.
Topical, with the discussions around invasion of privacy associated with Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and separately, Prince Harry (ahem!), Colleen Harris will talk to PR students at the University of Greenwich on Friday 16th November. Colleen is a former Press Secretary to HRH Prince of Wales, and the Princes William and Harry. She has served on the Press Complaints Commission, as a senior press officer across Whitehall (including at Number 10), and was Director of Strategy and Communications at the Commission for Racial Equality.
On Tuesday 16th October, Colin Byrne, CEO, EMEA of world-leading public relations agency Weber Shandwick will be dropping by the world heritage site that is home to the University of Greenwich to share his latest insights on trends in the industry.
In “Top trends for PR in the engagement era” he will discuss how, in considering influences on their brand’s sociability, most public relations executives look to external forces – winning the approval of the right media, achieving a target number of “Likes” on Facebook and dominating coverage of certain topics. Internal strategy, planning, cohesiveness and comfort in the digital space must come first; internal focus and consistency of vision are areas where substantial improvement must be made by most brands.
On Friday 23rd November we have the pleasure of welcoming Ken Deeks, who has insight gathered from straddling the PR/journalist divide in his career. He started off as a journalist working mainly for local newspapers as well as a spell on the Daily Mirror, before moving into PR. For several years, Ken ran a series of PR companies, operating mainly in the tech sector, including Kaizo. He then set up his own communications company KDL, which he ran for five years, before joining up with Paul Smith and Richard Baines to create The Amber Group. Ken is also the founder of Byte Night, the tech industry’s largest charity event.
Kicking off the term is Kevin Read, MD of Bell Pottinger Business and Brand, who will be speaking at our opening day Induction Event on Thursday 20th September.
Kevin’s main focus at Bell Pottinger Business and Brand is on resolving complex, international communications problems, shaping fresh, modern strategies and implementing integrated solutions that are typically spearheaded by PR.
He has more than 15 years senior consultancy experience and specialises in strategic planning and providing senior level business counsel. He has worked extensively for leading global brands (HSBC, British Gas, Unilever), a wide array of industry bodies (Nuclear, Food, Telecomms, Cosmetics, Drinks), government departments, NGOs and professional services firms. At the induction event for University of Greenwich PR students, he will be addressing the theme of creativity.
Not bad – and term hasn’t even begun. I couldn’t help blogging about it.