Archive for the 'events' Category


Spin doctor or just Alistair Campbell?

I went to the Q&A session at De Montfort University last night with Alistair Campbell in the hot seat. I was really interested from a PR point of view and wondered what he would say about spin doctors and the future of the media.

First of all it needs to be said that this man has a way with words. I was very impressed by the things he said and how transparent and honest he seemed (or is this all the magic of the spin doctor?). He was very clear that he doesn’t mind talking about his past especially the pornography (no, he was not  a pornography pin-up but writer for pornographic magazine Forum) part and the alcohol addiction.

The Q&A session started with a few pre-selected questions and then the chair opened up the floor and everyone could ask Alistair Campbell a question about anything. 

An interesting point Mr. Campbell made was that the media is not always truthful and does sell stories that aren’t true. For instance the story that he was going to start managing a football club. Campbell phones the journalist and told him that the story wasn’t true and the journalist replied by saying: “I know but it’s a good story”. So does this mean that journalists are mainly selling us lies because they think we like to hear stories that are untrue but seem interesting and entertaining?

Journalist are trying to keep their grip on the agenda and want to have the power of deciding what we talk about as the public. They thought they were loosing their grip on the agenda setting because the government and politics had the upper hand in setting the agenda.

The point Alistair Campbell made is that media is trying to come up with stories that sell more newspapers but this isn’t really what the public wants and therefore the media is not going to change until the public demands a change from the media. This is a very interesting point made.

Another point that I found interesting was that Alistair Campbell said that the true spin doctors are the journalists. Journalists write a certain way to make things seem different from what they actually are and during Campbell’s spin doctor period for Tony Blair he was trying to set these stories straight. This was then seen as spinning. Who do we believe the former spin doctor or the media? Interesting topic I would say.

Interesting person to follow on Twitter, his tweet from last night was nice, or was het only being kind? Once a spin doctor always a spin doctor?

“Terrific session with students from De Montfort University. Bright, engaged, really good questions. Wouldn’t advise Dave or Nick to go there.”

Have a look at his blog:

He even mentions DMU in his latest blog post!

Got the book and he signed it to my mum from me and my new best friend. Thanks for that again Alistair Campbell!


DMU events office debrief

My last extra week working for the De Montfort University events office was a really busy one. That is why I haven’t really finished yet.

I was supposed to have my work placement debrief this week but because of the busy week and all the events and meetings going on, there was no time.

Tomorrow, Monday, is going to be my final day. Will be finalising my work and handing over ongoing work. Also will be reporting on the status of the projects I have been working on.

For the debrief there are certain things that I am going to be asked that I haven’t really thought about before. This is because I wasn’t sure where my work placement was going to be until the last minute.

But here are some helpful guidelines for students before they start and when they finish their work placements:

– What did you expect from your placement?

– Did the placement fulfill these expectations?

– Are there any comments, could something have been better during your placement?

– Did you learn anything from the experience gained during your placement?

– Would you consider working in the field that you did your placement in?

I must have a good think about these questions before tomorrow and will let you know how it went.

Have you had a placement debrief before? Let me know!


Week 4, last week of work placement

Last week was supposed to be my last week of my work placement at the De Montfort Universities Events Office. But because I have really enjoyed myself and have loved working with my colleagues (I think I can call them that) in the events office, I decided to stay an extra week. Today was supposed to be my last day but they just can’t seem to get rid of me. I will be in the Events Office on Monday, to finalize any work I still have to do (don’t think there is any), to hand over my work that is still going on and to have my placement debrief.

My five weeks in the DMU Events Office have been great. I have done so much and have been included in so many ongoing events that I really have got a good view of how events are planned from scratch, how events work with the Press office and eventually seeing everything coming together.

I have worked and helped out at several events and even did evening work and an early mornings.

I have been in contact with The Leicester Comedy Festival, The Literary and Philosophical Society and several marquee companies. I have been phoning people to follow-up if they are coming to events, have been using new programs I never knew existed and have met some great people.

Organising events should be something I can be good at after this experience and writing press releases has become easier as well.

The overall experience has been really good and I am sad to leave the Events Office and the team. ut who knows I might be helping out at future events this year?!

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