Students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have been picking up PR tips from the professionals thanks to a new link with Leicestershire company Punch Communications. DMU graduate Ellis Di Cataldo, now senior copywriter with the Market Harborough firm, delivered lectures on life in a PR agency and PR in practice to students on DMU’s Public Relations module.DMU places huge emphasis on employability and providing opportunities for students to put the theory into practice. The university is ranked in the top 25 UK universities with the best graduate employment rates. Punch Communication is set to offer internships to students from years two and three this year, giving DMU students an insight into diverse public relations roles and a CV-boosting experience.Ellis said: “I think my top tip would be to always be open to new ideas and learning new things. “You’re always being challenged and no two days are the same, which is exciting and there’s always something new in social media which can help promote clients.
“It’s strange being back at DMU as a lecturer but it’s been fun talking to the next generation of PRs!” Ellis has been just one of a series of guest lecturers on the course, which have also included practitioners from different PR agencies, freelance PRs and Leicester Tigers’ head of public relations Gary Sherrard.RELATED NEWS:* Find out more about public relations study at DMU* DMU graduate treks Arctic to raise cash for RSPCA* Journalism graduate lands job ahead of graduation
Dr Indrani Lahiri is lecturer in public relations and contributes to lectures in the media and communication dissertation programme, the Advertising and Consumption course and the second year module media discourse: events.She said: “The idea behind guest lecturers is to ensure that students know what employers are looking for, and to give them an idea about the kind of jobs they will do when in practice.
“We are very pleased to be working with Punch Communications through lectures and internships and hope the students have found it useful and helpful to their understanding of public relations.”Student Lucy Booth said: “Having an employee from a successful PR firm that is local to DMU is beneficial to studying the course. With PR it is all about learning the practical side so having someone come to talk to us about what life is like working for a PR agency and the day-to-day work she gets up to is something that can’t be learnt from text books. “Also the opportunities given to us from companies such as Punch Communications giving work experience opportunities is extremely beneficial.”
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