Iliyana's Blog

9 Things to Do to Excel as a PR Student

[fa icon="calendar'] 26-Dec-2014 07:52:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in University Experience, Public Relations

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PR is becoming a very competitive industry. The chase for talent is tremendous.

Being successful at university guarantees you a good degree, which is the first thing you need to be considered for a PR job.

Bear in mind that many PR agencies have started looking for talent with diverse backgrounds, so not necessarily people with PR degrees, but from more specialist areas such as finance or even healthcare.

For example, I didn’t study PR. I hold a degree in International Business, but I still pursued a career in PR – and I got it. It wasn’t easy, but I laid the ground while at university. That’s where success starts.

Based on my experiences, I would like to pass on my advice to you how to excel as a PR student and help you set the basis for a successful career in public relations.

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PR Dissertation: How to get Started

[fa icon="calendar'] 10-Dec-2014 21:37:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in University Experience, Public Relations

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I recently talked about why you should write a dissertation about PR. Hopefully, I’ve managed to convince you and if so I think you might find this piece quite useful as it would give you some direction how to get started with a PR dissertation – by creating a plan as a first and most important step.

Writing a dissertation is a pretty difficult task. I’ve done it twice: the first time when writing my dissertation about PR and social media, and the second time with my dissertation about social media for sustainability communications. And both of them within a year!

So as you can see, I know first-hand how much time and effort it requires if you want to do it right.

The Vital Step for PR Dissertation Success

Perhaps the most important thing I learned from my dissertation experiences is that the groundwork for an outstanding dissertation is your initial plan – that’s the backbone of your PR dissertation.

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The Benefits of Writing a Dissertation about PR

[fa icon="calendar'] 01-Dec-2014 03:04:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in University Experience, Public Relations

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PR is on the rise! With the ever growing importance of social media, storytelling and influencer relations for business, the public relations industry has a bright future.

So here’s my advice to all PR, communications, marketing or business students who are wondering what dissertation topic to choose: Write a dissertation about public relations.

Why write a dissertation about PR

It’s been over two years since I wrote my dissertation about PR and social media. However, my reserch findings are still relevant today. What’s more, publishing the results on this blog and creating a summary in the form of an infographic has driven tremendous interest from other students and professionals as well as some great endorsements. This has allowed me to make a name for myself and even build my own brand, especially after my PR dissertation was published as a book

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The Power of Social Media as a Communications Channel for Creating Business Sustainability Value: a Support Tool or Menace?

[fa icon="calendar'] 20-Aug-2013 12:07:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in University Experience, Social Media, Sustainability

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Over the last few years two relatively new business philosophies have become the trendy buzzwords in the corporate space – social media and sustainability. The rise of social media has provoked a complex cultural and communications shift in the way people share information and participate in conversations, resulting in the empowerment of the individual to demand change as well as to expect responsibility and social consciousness from brands to strike the triple bottom line balance.

This new social economy is based on engagement, relationships and mutual trust where relevance to the individual is a main currency for meaningful communications. Thus, innovation has become crucial for companies to reach, educate and inspire this new consumer about sustainability, but there is still both a need and a demand to raise sustainability awareness, break down silos and improve communications practices and knowledge management.

To analyse and explain social media’s impact on sustainability communications and offer practical guidance for companies interested in exploring these new opportunities I chose to examine the power of social media as a communications channel for creating business sustainability value for my second BA dissertation.

The main research objective was to discover whether social media can be a support tool or a menace for corporate sustainability.

I examined the importance and the current state of social media for sustainability communications and the opportunities and the risks of social media comms for creating business sustainability value.

As a result, I developed a best practice guide for utilising the power of social media and avoiding potential pitfalls, which you can see in the infographic at the end of this post.

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The Impact of Social Media on the PR Industry – an Interview with Alison Theaker

[fa icon="calendar'] 06-Apr-2013 08:15:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in University Experience, Social Media, Public Relations

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Now that you've seen the interviews for my dissertation I conducted with Heather Yaxley, Shelley Fletcher-Bryant, Annie Bowden and Rob Brown, here's the final one to go online (I conducted a few more, but promised to keep them confidential and not publish them).

Below you’ll see the responses of Alison Theaker. Alison has over 30 years of experience in public relations and management as a practitioner and academic. Currently she is a freelance consultant at The Spark and an Associate Lecturer in Public Relations at London College of Communication. Alison is the author of ‘The Public Relations Handbook’ (a principal PR textbook since the 2000s) and co-author with Heather Yaxley of ‘The Public Relations Strategic Toolkit’ (a must read for anyone in PR). You can follow her on Twitter @thesparkuk.

Q: How do you think the emergence of social media changed PR? Is it a positive or a negative impact and why?

I think the emergence of social media doesn’t change the nature of what PR is at all; rather it has offered new channels and tools.

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