The Open Door to PR series nudges curious students out of the classroom and into the PR world. By inviting student CPRS members into actual PR workplaces, the event promotes learning and rewards inquisitiveness. Attendees kept the discussions focused, allowed everyone their chance to speak, and made networking less intimidating.
By pairing visits to a news publication office and a PR agency, this outing let participants see the two sides of media relations.
Jeff Hodson, the editor of Metro Vancouver, introduced himself and three journalists from his team.. Hodson gave a brief presentation on the history of Metro News, its organizational structure and activities before opening the floor to questions.
Metro News | Vancouver
Open Door to PR participants visit Metro News
The opportunity to build networks with the journalists can’t be overstated. Many new PR professionals begin their relationships with journalists by sweating on the other end of a phone, so being able to connect in a relaxed setting is invaluable. This way, young PR professionals gain an appreciation of the journalists’ world while learning about their beats and communications preferences.
Pro Tip: Metro News is a daily newspaper. Pitch early in the morning, and to someone covering the right beat. Do your research, or risk your reputation.
Open Door to PR participants visit Peak Communicators
After a warm introduction we met Alyn Edwards, one of the founding members of Peak Communicators. We peeked in at the “Bull Pen,” where account coordinators and executives handle the bulk of client accounts, before settling into the board room.
A formal presentation by a trio of Peak Communicators’ staff focused on the particulars of agency life in one of Vancouver’s leading PR firms. Charlotte Gilmour, Krystal Lim and Claire Hamilton-Eddy answered every question with sincerity and humour.
Pro Tip: Learn how to manage your clients’ expectations in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Triage tasks as necessary.
GREAT out of 10 – would go again!
These events are invaluable as networking opportunities. Do your research, listen carefully, and ask questions – it will be well worth your time!