Top London PR Agency run workshop at BU


Leading London PR Agency Bell Pottinger ran a workshop at Bournemouth University (BU) aiming to give students an insight into the PR industry and assist them with their studies.

James Gater, Associate Partner at Bell Pottinger lead the first hour of the workshop, which focused on the Science of PR. Gater said he wanted students to understand that “the concept of public relations is a hybrid combination of head and heart”.

Gater, who studied PR at BU said, “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at BU. The thing it has above other universities is that it has a very practical and pragmatic approach to education, and focused firmly on getting people employment”.

Luke Chauvaeu, Partner at Bell Pottinger drew upon his extensive industry experience, leading the second presentation of the session focusing on ‘the guts’ of PR. Chauvaeu said “I’ve been entertained and had a very engaging team of people in terms of this afternoon’s lecture. Everyone’s been welcoming!”

After the presentations the students were set an interactive pitching activity, aimed to prepare them for the working world of PR and increase their professional presentation skills.

Dr John Oliver, Associate Professor of Media Management at BU said, “Hopefully the day has given students a chance to showcase their talents and exposure to a top agency. We have seen really high quality work from students today”.

Pippa Chester, a final year student at BU who took part in the session, said, “It’s really good to have people from a top communications agency. It says a lot about the course that they’ve come to Bournemouth.”

Hilary Stepien, Programme Leader of PR at BU said that she hopes “people will take away knowledge that there is a whole world of PR out there beyond consumer stuff. We would love to have them back again next year as the session would benefit any PR student at any level of their studies”.

Strong response for Bangkok conference

Planning for the 1st International Corporate and Marketing Communication in Asia Conference to be held in Bangkok on November 18-19 is progressing well, reports Prof Tom Watson of Bournemouth University.

He has recently returned from meeting his co-organisers Assoc Prof Jirayudh Sinthuphan and Assoc Prof Saravudh Anantachart of Chulalongkorn University.

The conference, organised in collaboration by the Thai university’s Faculty of Communication Arts and BU’s Media School, has attracted interest from across Asia and the Middle East.

The international review panel has chosen 30 abstracts from ten countries with a broad range of topics and approaches.

“At our meeting in Bangkok, the conference schedule was finalised and other arrangements confirmed. The facilities at Chula are very good and enable us to run two parallel streams of papers on both days”, said Prof Watson. “We are really pleased with the response which is far more positive than expected. Already almost all speakers are confirmed to attend and registered.”

The audience will also include Thai and regional academics and representatives of the national advertising, marketing communications and public relations sectors. The conference schedule will be published shortly at

Benefits of doing an MA in Public Relations at BU featured in The Guardian

The benefits of studying an MA in Public Relations at BU were featured in an article in The Guardian.

The article, which featured in the newspaper’s postgraduate study supplement, looked at how Public Relations courses were adapting to the changing landscape, with social media and viral campaigns becoming increasingly important.

Journalist Carrie Dunn spoke with Hilary Stepien, programme coordinator for MA Public Relations at BU, about how the course ensures its graduates are fully up-to-date with the latest techniques and technology PR professionals are expected to master.

Hilary said: “We do equip students with a lot of the practical skills they’ll need to work in PR, from developing social media campaigns to pitching to clients to media relations skills, so we do all that as well, but it’s also heavily theoretical.”

She added that students often have a range of previous experience and come from lots of different backgrounds – including journalism, international relations and science.

The article also featured 2010 BU graduate Vanessa Procter, who now works as a project manager for PRIME research in the automotive industry.

She said that the course’s strong links with industry and networking opportunities helped with her smooth transition into work.

“The lessons learned, techniques applied and research conducted during my study enabled my career step straight into a demanding, fast-paced and exciting role with a global leader in strategic communications.

“All in all, the MA programme had a door opening effect for me, unleashing an exciting career path.”

Read The Guardian article in full