A Day That Will Go Down In History #equalmarriage

After waking up nice and early on this beautiful Saturday morning (29th March 2014) I opened up Twitter to browse through my timeline and trends as I normally do. I was shocked to see another natural disaster effecting so many with aftershocks still rippling across California as I write this. Many people taking to Twitter to share their worries and advice to people who have been affected by the 5.1 magnitude earthquake. However, I was also drawn to the hashtag #equalmarriage that is currently trending worldwide (9.40am). Today is the day that same sex couples can wed in England and Wales. Such a world we live in that people had barriers stopping them from loving who they want. I’m not much of a religious person so I am not arguing against peoples religious beliefs, but in my opinion in a world of hate and war, love should be accepted with open arms.

The hashtag is overwhelming to read, with so much love and support being shared on this defining day.

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These are two examples of tweets that are at the top of the hashtag feed, by @2lovelygays and @xMATTxLAWx. Along with every positive tweet comes a rush of favourites and retweets, showing the support made possible through this social media platform.

However, you can’t please everybody and of course there are some people with opposing views on equal marriage who have also taken to twitter to share their opinions.

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Here @TheDaiLJew has posted a screenshot from the Telegraph comments feed on an article about equal marriage day, which shows some of the negative views. However, overall the views being shared are that of congratulatory support, which in my opinion is a great step for England and Wales. One that supports positive social change. I am pleased to be able to recognise today for a defining time that will be remembered and taught about as English history for future years.

E-book in a day – Solent Success

On wednesday 26th March Solent university students took on the CIPR challenge of creating an engagement themed e-book in a day. The e-book will consist of different chapters that look into different areas of engagement within PR and evaluate how successful the engagement from the day was. The e-books aim is ‘to put the public back into public relations’. This is the first time that anything like this has been attempted and I am very proud to say that I was able to take part of it as a Solent student and become a co-author of the e-book.

A mixture of 2nd and 3rd year students got together on wednesday 26th March 2014 to work in teams that would be managed by a MA student on a mixture of courses. Each team were set to cover a chapter of the e-book each, which were made up of Networking, Crowdsourcing, Co-creation, Gamification, Curation, Visual Mashup, Face-to-face/Voice-to-voice, and Measurement & Evaluation. P2P PR is a new term created for the e-book that stands for Peer to Peer PR, highlighting the aim of generating engagement through all PR people.

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Solent University: Faculty of the Creative Industries

All of the students got the opportunity to pick which chapter they wanted to work on with consideration of what their key skills are. I chose to join the Visual Mashup chapter as I felt I could contribute my social media and networking skills and experience to the team. The goal of the Visual Mashup team was called ‘Life in a day of a PR person’, which meant that we needed a visual representation of what PR meant to people. The teams aim was to generate engagement with PR professionals, agencies, lecturers, and student through social media platforms, such as Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.



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Steve Waddington (CIPR president) giving an opening speech)

After an opening speech from Catherine Sweet and Stephen Waddington (CIPR president) an ice-breaker session started whilst the groups were joining together. From this we moved onto the delegation of roles within the team. Specific members of the team were assigned to manage certain social media platforms, such as I was delegated to work on the @ebookinaday Twitter account alongside Marta García-Urgelés. After each team member had been assigned a platform to manage we got started with generating engagement. Myself and Marta began tweeting PR professionals and agencies through a database of contacts that had been gathered through networking. To begin with we weren’t seeing anybody responding with a photo that sums up PR for them. We received a lot of new followers to the account as well as retweets and favourites but it wasn’t until about an hour in that we started to see agencies start to respond. Ketchum and MSL_Group responded with excellent contributions of their visual representations of PR to them. After these big-name agencies started to engage with the project we saw many others join in as well.

After we had generated an impressive amount of engagement through each social media platform, the team began to work on writing the content for the chapter of the e-book. We had roughly an hour to compile all of our findings from the day into a short chapter that was focused on Visual Mashup as a means of generating engagement. Here is a photo of team Visual Mashup:

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Visual Mashup team photo

The day was a great experience and I am very proud to have worked on such a unique opportunity for Solent students. Below is a video of Steve Waddingtons (CIPR president) conclusion speech with 3 useful tips for the students. (Please forgive the terrible recording quality due to snapping it on my phone)

After the busy day of creating the e-book, many students then participated in Meet The Professionals networking evening at the university. I was pleased to have the opportunity to attend this event and I managed to gain some useful contacts through networking, some of which will be great contacts for my dissertation research. Overall, the day was long and tiring but definitely a great experience and an opportunity I got because of Solent’s efforts towards integrating the students into the industry.

The Start Of The End: Dissertation Prep

Every students nightmare has to be the dreaded dissertation. I am now nearing the end of the second year of the degree at Southampton Solent University and little did I know that I would have to start thinking about my dissertation topic now. Along with the rest of the PR cohort, dissertation proposals, topic choices, and research questions were a distant thought. I suppose it’s a good thing to not leave it all till third year but it is scary to think I have to begin planning it now. Not all courses have a dissertation as a part of the degree, and they’re the lucky ones, however the Public Relations and Communications degree does. 10’000 words of PR-perfect content that is specific to your chosen topic.

Catherine Sweet is the lecturer for the Research and Evaluation unit on the degree and Catherine has been talking us through the first stages of researching our topic choices. As part of this unit I am required to produce a portfolio with 6 entries, 3 of which are focused on my dissertation topic. The 3 entires are a literature search, document analysis, and a content analysis. In order to do these 3 entries I first had to decide upon my topic and form it into my dissertation title. A guest speaker came in to speak to the group about her experience with dissertation writing and doing work placements. She told us the best way to narrow down our topic is to make a mind map called ‘Topic Choice’ where we look at what our ideal job would be, what we are curious about, what our hobbies are, and finally what our secret passion is. Below is my mind map that I used to create my dissertation title.

mind map topic choice


From this mind map I worked out that I wanted to write my dissertation on Environmental Issues and the approaches people make to try and make a difference. From this I then researched into activists and narrowed my title down to..

‘How Far Is Too Far? A comparative study into the PR of Greenpeace and WWF to identify effective activist campaigning tactics.’

I have begun to work on the first drafts of my literature search and content analysis with document analysis left to do. I am enjoying doing the research, which is giving me the motivation to write about this topic for my dissertation. There’s no good in choosing a topic that you’re not interested in and then struggling to write 10,000 words about it.

I am looking forward to the third year to really start working on my dissertation topic and learning more about environmental issues and activist tactics. I aim to work on environmental campaigns in the future so my dissertation should help me to achieve this goal.

Below is a prezi presentation I created as part of the Employability and Work Placement unit for this term. The prezi is my Career Development Action Plan of where I wanted to end up after graduating university and how I aim to get there.

If the prezi doesn’t load through the box above try this link instead: