Has PR lost all Credibility in 2018?

The term PR can unsurprisingly evoke a feeling of doubt in people’s minds. PR can be seen as way the media twist the truth in an attempt to deliver a certain message. The element of persuasion can sometimes overshadow judgement and cast a damaging light on PR. However this is not the case, PR today has emerged significantly from what people may relate it back to as propaganda. People are quick to criticise PR due to reports that PR shys away from persuasion as a form of propaganda as it can be argued that the purpose of PR is to manipulate opinions. In discovering the elements of professional and reliable information people can soon realise the credit associated through PR. The progress through the years proves that PR has become more credible through their relevant and trustworthy news sources.


It seems that anytime I tell someone I am doing a PR degree they recognise it as standing on street corners promoting clubs or creating publicly stunts for good advertising. It is not uncommon that PR can be misinterpreted as a means to sell or exploit. Fortunately this isn’t the case, PR has a lot more than just promotion and publicity stunts. One of the more famous stunts being the white Range Rover outside Harrods in 2016, which tactically used PR and advertising to promote their brand image for the new Revere Range Rover Vogue.

People often question what is PR and why is it needed. The PRCA describe PR as the way in which organisations communicate with the public, promote themselves and build reputation and public image (Prca.org.uk, 2017). PR is in fact the back bone to organisations positively communicating key messages to consumers. Every organisation no matter who small depends on their reputation therefore PR is needed to promote survival and success in the most competitive of industries.
The world of PR is chaotic and crazy but for all the right reasons. The PR industry invites you to experience things you never imagined and learn things you never knew. Credibility is merely a small element of PR that is unfortunately sometimes negatively portrayed. Influencers and brand ambassadors create the perfect platform for organisations to promote their brand messages to their target audience and building upon their reputation. Aristotle used the term Ethos throughout PR which is given to a character such as a celebrity endorser or influential figure which gives the organisation more credibility.


The intensity and multitude of information and messages throughout PR in today’s modern world are at an all time high. So of course there are elements of exaggeration within the media but more importantly there is logical information that the public can rely on. The truth is that PR is everywhere you go and it is nearly impossible to escape it. There is a mass of messages and promotions in every aspect of life and it is important that we use these opportunities effectively to communicate the right message.
However the right message may not always be that simple to communicate. PR may not always be controlled and positive PR can always turn in to negative PR, which is something to consider. NYPD proved this through their social media request of asking the public to send in positive pictures with the police, which of course didn’t last too long and were bombarded with negative images and PR.


Although, it can be certain that PR is focused on promoting an organisations image and reputation, there is so much more planning and preparation involved. Today’s PR professionals have to processes a variety of skills within a competitive workplace. PR practitioners support their consumers and the public by communicating messages truthfully and effectively, ultimately creating a mass of credible PR.

Caoimhe Conway is a 4th year Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University, Jordanstown. She can be found on Twitter: @caoimhe_conway /  Instagram: caoimheconway / LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caoimhe-conway-bb0b03152/

‘Minding Your Head’ – Let’s Break The Stigma!

What do we think of when we hear the term Mental Health? Bravery? Negativity? Unfortunately in 2018 there is a stigma attached to mental health problems, resulting in a social discomfort when discussing mental health and consequently a slower recovery rate.

It’s time we broke that stigma.



The definition of mental health can be known as a ‘person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being’. So why when we hear these words do we automatically assume the worst? Why do we associate mental health as a form of weakness?

It’s time for a change; the percentage of mental health issues throughout Northern Ireland has never been higher. So let’s end the mental health discrimination! Let’s embrace mental health in all that it is and let’s support all those affected by it!

Surviving the mental health stigma– this is something that we shouldn’t have to deal with. Mental health is a long difficult road that many of us are facing without adding the prejudice that is attached to it. A broken arm takes time and medical support to heal. A broken mind is no different. Celebrating each other’s imperfections can only leave room for acceptance and positivity in a world full of neglect and resentment. Supporting and discussing mental health in Northern Ireland can help break the stigma and encourage others to seek help! Support today by speaking out about mental illness.



Too often we focus on what is wrong with us, what we don’t have compared to someone else and what we want instead of what we need. How about taking a step back and focusing on what we do have? Focusing on the future we can create and look forward to the amazing things that await us. Because that’s all we need …. focus. The focus on the positive things, the things that will inspire us to do better and be better! Find your inspiration and thrive off it.

Below are some of my top tips for looking after your mental health:

Number 1:

  • Do what makes you happy (even if it is spending all your student loan on travelling). What’s the point of not doing what makes you happy? Let nothing hold you back, not friends, not partners, not money, not circumstance. The world is your oyster!


Number 2:

  • Avoid the negativity. We all know someone that we just can’t seem to impress no matter how hard we try. You can’t please everyone and that’s for sure. Avoid the drama, avoid the negativity. Simple!


Number 3:

  • Ask for help – never feel it is a sign of weakness. Asking for help is a part of life, whether it be from a friend, a lecturer or a total stranger. None of us are superhuman, help is never too far away.


Number 4:

  • Get plenty of sleep! Sleep is the best sort of medicine. A full 8 hours (10 in my case) will help set you up for a day full of motivation.


Number 5:

  • Take a break. Take a break from it all; work, social media, life. Time to yourself is important; silence for just a few minutes a day to clear your head leaves room for a healthier mind.


Number 6:

  • Express yourself. Whether it is through dance, talking, exercise or writing, it is so important to express yourself. Getting one simple problem off your mind takes a weight you didn’t know you were carrying off your shoulders.


Number 7:

  • Take care of others. The problem with the stigma of mental health is that no one is open to discussing it. By opening up and taking care of one another whatever the problem may be, this ultimately supports one another- tackling mental health straight on! “We rise by lifting others”


Moral of the story – try to be there for each other- we don’t know what sort of battle people are facing. Be kind always.

Lifeline: 0808 808 8000

Caoimhe Conway is a 4th year Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter: @caoimhe_conway /  Instagram: caoimheconway / LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caoimhe-conway-bb0b03152/



Wanderlust; to take the travelling plunge?

University for many of us can be explained as the best time of our lives. Except for final year obviously. We are surrounded by student loans, partying and friends… what’s not to love? Although when it ends, does this mean we jump straight into a life time of work?

I know I’ve been replaying the options over and over in my head as graduation is quickly catching up on me. Truth is majority of people graduating this year won’t always be 100% ready for the real world, which is completely normal. Leaving Uni up to the eyeballs in student debt would scare anyone into full time employment, but should that really hold anyone back?

The stress of final year would drive anyone to another country, whether it be for a holiday or a year out. Although unfortunately we can end up going with the flow and following the steps we see others take to try and fulfill the traditional route after graduating from University. After some time we may realise that this isn’t meant for everyone. We all have a different journey and the direction we take will determine this, following others will only hold us back from our destination. When you live in a society that worries more about how much money you earn above anything else, this would encourage anyone to take a gap year. The puzzle of life often gives us pieces that don’t always fit, but we force them anyway and quite often we are set up in routine where our lives are planned out for us. Society has certain steps we follow at each stage of our life. We go to University; we get a job, get married and have children. We are so quick to grow up we forget all the amazing opportunities we have before jumping into a full time job. Debt and responsibility are so quick to become our priorities that we don’t seize opportunities when we have them. My advice to anyone on the fence or with itchy feet is to be selfish and to take every opportunity that life throws at them!

The expectation of completing University and finding a graduate job is over rated. Money is great and all that but experience makes you richer. If you are feeling undecided don’t be alarmed, the majority of people are in the same boat and don’t know where it’s going. But that’s not always a bad thing.

‘Great things never happened in comfort zones’. This is something we all know but how often do we abide by it? Growing up I hadn’t been on many holidays and wouldn’t class myself as adventurous possibly just stuck in my comfort zone. Therefore travelling was never on my mind and quite often we have a list of excuses for letting opportunities slip through our fingers; we don’t have the time, we don’t have the money, we are stuck in our comfort zone. There are endless reasons, but there are also endless reasons why we should take these opportunities. Make plans, book flights and forget about all that’s holding you back!

Over the last few years I decided to give travelling a go and traveled around Europe, America and Thailand. Money could not have bought the experience I endured, the people I met or the feelings I had I felt.  I will always remember the countries I visited for their unique culture and will treasure the experience for the knowledge I have gained. We are always taught to follow our passion from a young age so travelling should be no different. A little advice for anyone with itchy feet is to jump. Jump at the chance we have now as it may never come around again. Make new friends, experience different foods, learn a new language. Build character and open doors that you never thought you could open.

The options we have are countless, the possibilities we have are endless and the life we live is limitless. Be inspired, live in the moment, take the plunge!

Caoimhe Conway is a 4th year BSc in Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be connected on Twitter: @caoimhe_conway / Instagram: caoimheconway / LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caoimhe-conway-bb0b03152/