BA (Hons) Public Relations students undertook a Media Relations module with two BBC journalists, Dekan Apajee and Evadney Campbell, gaining a deeper insight into the industry over 11 weeks. Reporting back on the module is our guest blog writer, BA (Hons) Public Relations student Daryl Ho, who recalls the highlights.
BA (Hons) Public Relations students undertook a Media Relations module with two BBC journalists, Dekan Apajee and Evadney Campbell, during their second year of study. Conducted over 11 weeks, the module gave us a deeper insight into the dynamic professional relationship between journalists and PR practitioners, how different media formats and types operate, and an opportunity to try our hand at a new specialisation in PR – crisis management.
Dekan and Evadney, who are veterans in TV and radio broadcasting respectively, introduced us to the different elements within the platforms, while also showing us the ropes on how to prepare for interviews with journalists. There is a lot of work and effort that goes behind the scenes of a TV/radio interview, and the stakes are often high too – minute details like the way you sit or speak, or where you are looking, or if you are fidgeting in your seat, can make or break the impression you leave on air.
For the final assessment of the module, we were required to form teams and deal with a simulated PR crisis situation. The brief we received on the spot involved Sainsbury’s being embroiled in a financial scandal. Within our teams, we had to come up with a crisis management strategy and key messages to be delivered on mock TV and radio interviews with Dekan and Evadney.
The whole exercise was to last only 3 hours, so there was immense pressure to produce our deliverables and materials. Needless to say, we were all very nervous, especially for the interview segments with actual BBC journalists. Both interviews were to be recorded, and seeing myself ‘live’ on a TV screen would throw me off completely, so I opted to handle the radio interview instead.
Radio was definitely much easier, and I felt more comfortable being in front of a microphone instead of a camera. Overall, my team did very well and the exercise was very fulfilling – it gave us great exposure to a side of PR that is often overlooked and taken for granted. Working with journalists and the media against strict time windows definitely builds a lot of character and puts into perspective how challenging a professional environment can be.
The BA (Hons) Public Relations course here at the London College of Communication equips students with both the theoretical knowledge and opportunities to apply that knowledge in a safe and controlled environment, while also allowing us to learn with guidance from actual practitioners and professionals.
Read more about the course and find out how to apply on the course page
Words by Daryl Ho
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