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Janey says...

A hot topic in Lincoln this week has been the ‘Inbetweeners‘ channel 4’s comedy show poking fun at the University of Lincoln. When head master Mr Gilbert threatened sixth form student Will ‘or its goodbye first-rate education, hello the University of Lincoln’ then Will replied ‘I’d been to Lincoln and it’s a s***hole’.

Within seconds of this being broadcasted hundreds of University of Lincoln students created uproar on facebook either offended or laughing about the dig. Before the programme was even over there was already a facebook group created ‘goodbye first-rate education, hello university of Lincoln’ (http://on.fb.me/cRDNX8) and ’11.10.10 the day Lincoln Uni got ripped by the Inbetweeners’ (http://on.fb.me/cRDNX8).

Students and tourism representatives took to defending Lincoln and the University – as a student myself I can honestly say that Lincoln or the University is not a ‘s***hole’.

Although it is embarrassing and insulting for university students and to Lincoln (a very beautiful city) perhaps the publicity isn’t a bad thing? Like any bad PR if effectively acted upon it could be turned into good PR. The important thing is how Lincoln responds to the publicity and if they can turn it around and perhaps raise Lincoln’s profile and benefit from the publicity.

The shop ‘Intersport’ in Lincoln cleverly acted fast and had the quote printed on a t-shirt and in the shop window the following day – crazy but clever! It got everyone in Lincoln talking and taking a trip to the shop!

Fair enough the Inbetweeners is a comedy show and aims to humour but there’s a fine line between what is of public interest and what can actually have an effect and change people’s views. Potentially this could damage Lincoln Uni’s reputation and put off future students. During this time it is important that Lincoln Uni act effectively in their crisis management to avoid negative effects.

I think that if Lincoln University take the joke in good spirit and play on it (not too far though) it will reflect better on Lincoln University’s personality rather then taking it badly which will only give a negative reflection on the Uni. The University should leave viewers to decide whether it is a joke or truth and in the mean time continue to prove them wrong.

Not only could this publicity raise Lincoln Uni’s profile, head master Greg Davis (Mr.Gilbert) ironically has a stand-up comedy show in Lincoln on the 23rd November this controversy is bound to enhance ticket sales. Greg Davis also needs to manage his PR well between now and the show to ensure that the remark does not give him a negative reception in Lincoln.

Similar to this situation is the bad reputation that PR professionals seem to be branded with ‘spin doctors’ but this bad image can be turned around, it is important for any PR professionals to be honest and have their morals and values in the correct place to earn more trust and respect from those branding us spin doctors.

It is part of life that something will always threaten reputation but what matters is how it is dealt with! It can be turned around.

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Janey says...

PR is all about reputation, this does not just mean a company’s reputation, it also means every individuals’ reputation.  Behind every working individual there is a brand and a reputation. Even as students, we are in the process of building a personal brand to later present to an employer.

A personal brand, like a company’s brand differentiates us from our competitors.  It is built up of skills, values, strengths, personality and appearance that voice what we stand for and what we can offer to others.

Personal branding will:

–       Give you a visibility

–       Separate you from the crowd

–       Attract people to your business

What makes a successful brand?

A successful brand needs to be clear so that the receiver understands it. It must be apparent of what we stand for and what our values are. Secondly, it must be consistent in delivering our brand, which will re-enforce the message and make it even stronger and clearer. A personal brand needs to be clear and strong, stick to the values and be constant and repetitive. A personal brand should remain invariable and constantly visible to our target receivers.

Sir Richard Branson

Richard Branson is an example of successful branding, not only does he effectively brand his company Virgin he also effectively brands himself as CEO. Richard Branson is excellent at personal PR, he makes himself exclusive to the public, he is charismatic, outgoing, a daredevil, has a sense of humour and gets personal with his employees and gets stuck in with the action. Branson has branded himself as a people’s person and is different to most CEOs – he sets himself apart from the other brands. Branson has successfully self-packaged himself as part of his brand Virgin.

Other examples of personal branding are found behind any celebrity; The Beckhams, Lord Alan Sugar, Cheryl Cole, and Simon Cowell – the list could go on forever!

Students!

So basically a successful personal brand should be clear, reliable and constant. As a student we need to evaluate what we are good at, our values, ethics, personality, what we stand for and what we can offer. When we have decided upon this we will need to stick to it and be constant in this behavior and represent it to your target audience.

By creating a personal brand you will be setting yourself apart from the crowd and shaping people’s perception of you. A successful brand will attract people to your business or in a graduate’s situation to employ you.

Sculpting a personal brand is quite daunting and I have no doubt that it will take a few twists and turns and some time but am confident we will all get there and find our own niche! Good luck to everyone and please add any comments to the discussion or any ADVICE!!

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Hello! I am Janey Spratt a ‘University of Lincoln’ student, studying ‘Media, culture, communications and PR’ with the intent to kick-start a career in PR.

I am very interested in SM and online PR which prompted me to join up with Stephen and get a blog going!

I am excited about getting this blog off the ground and getting down to some discussions around different areas and issues of PR. The most important aspect of this blog for me is not always getting it right but learning from Stephen and of course all you other bloggers and getting the most out of this blog!

Everyone’s input is vital so don’t be shy!

A bit about myself

I am….

Passionate about life, laughs, my career, friends and travel!  

…Outgoing, fun and passionate person but also very focused and know what I want out of life – but things never go to plan do they!

…From Northern Ireland but study in England! I enjoy swimming, reading, travelling, and of course socialising with my friends and Boyfriend and ALWAYS meeting new people.

Dream Job– Innocent or Lonely Planet.

An innovative, quirky company with lots of personality and maybe some travel involved! While I enjoy the SM side of PR, I am also very passionate about Community relations and definitely want to do some good honest PR that has an effect on the community and staff internally!

Finallly…I hope this blog is successful in creating some friendly discussion and critique! Stephen and I are both students with our third year ahead of us so maintaining this blog along with dissertations, study, assignments, part-time jobs and a social life as well as other commitments is going to be a challenge!  With each other’s support I have no doubt that we can do this!!

Doing what I do best, enjoying a lazy sunday!

doing what i do best...lazy Sundays!

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