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Internship Journal

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Introduction

1. OVERVIEW Bill Gates once said "if I was down to my last dollar, I'd spend it on public relations". Such a statement, particularly from an entrepreneur so renowned in the business arena, is no doubt a sparkling endorsement for the industry. Regardless, it is only after two internships with Verve Communications in 2009 and the Sydney Kings in 2010 that I feel I have gathered the understanding and experience to realise how poignant such a declaration is - arguably even more so in a fledgling economic climate. In the following report, while focusing primarily on The Sydney Kings resurrection, I will draw on the knowledge gained and lessons learned in the first few weeks of my internship in 2010. In doing so, I will consider how both theoretical and practical elements of the BA Communications (Public Relations) degree have impacted upon and assisted me during my experience at the Kings. It is these original understandings that have enabled me to be a part of the successful PR team, and hence understand the true value of public relations. 2. ACTIVITIES AND LEARNING Be thrown in at the deep end and you will learn to swim. When considering my first few weeks at Sydney Kings, it is this idiom that constantly reemerges. Within my first day at work in 2010, I had participated in meetings, written my first press release and helped allocate season ticket holders their seats. ...read more.

Middle

Kings, I arguably learned more about the ins and outs of the media in my first month at the Kings than in my entire university degree. It's amazing how much you learn from just observing the workplace and listening to the employees pitch stories, meetings etc. From the outset of my internship, I was encouraged to ask questions and develop an understanding of the media, create my own tactics. While this was useful, perhaps the most important aspect of my training was the independence that I was granted. I was lucky enough to have gained a place at a company that were willing to put their trust in me. Of course, while event coverage is one thing, the Kings team and their position in the community is a completely different story. Sydney Kings is an iconic sporting brand that had previously been out of the competition. The success of the PR staff falls directly on their anticipation to re-create this once much loved sport in Sydney. Community involvement, TV appearances, pre-season games, newspaper articles weekly- has let Sydney know the Kings are back and better than ever! A university degree is not the be all, end all for any profession. I would by no means encourage entering the workforce with just a degree to your name. Ultimately, in terms of campaign construction, whilst theory and limited practice at university was useful, it is not sufficient training to enter a PR company. ...read more.

Conclusion

In line with Saussure's theories of power in semiotics, rather than reflecting reality, PR is primarily based around an attempt to create meaning via manipulation of the sign system. Throughout my work at the Kings, the aim has been to produce a dominant reading, which is passed on to a news room and ideally published in its original state. As noted by Volosinov, such meanings are always the result of ideological struggles, and are hence rarely accepted without question. In this respect, the journalist represents a 'gate keeper' of sorts, who is perhaps more likely to develop a negotiated, or even oppositional, reading of a release than that which was initially intended. And so the sign system continues to be shaped. - Press releases often involve playing with words, particularly in titles. This is particularly so with the team and their stories that are not as immediately newsworthy. - Press releases and campaign are about the construction and manipulation of the sign system. - Difference in Ideology. Whilst marketing is not considered trustworthy, PR is believed to be reliable as it is apparently controlled by a media gatekeeper (i.e. the journalist). - In large part, the culture industry IS public relation, being based around the manufacturing of a positive company reputation without paying money or engaging in any good will per se. ...read more.

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