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Get Ahead - Go Digital


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Ben Cotton gave a presentation to academic staff at Leeds Met on the value of e-portfolios as a method of assessment and tool to record achievement.

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Get Ahead - Go Digital

  1. 1. Get ahead – go digital January 2010 By Ben Cotton [email_address] www .ben -cotton .com
  2. 2. #LeedsMetLL www .ben -cotton .com
  3. 3. www .ben -cotton .com Introduction <ul><li>Studied BA (Hons) Public Relations and graduated in 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Currently on Leeds Met’s Graduate Trainee programme </li></ul><ul><li>Worked in the Leeds Met press office, Yorkshire CCC PR dept and PR research centre </li></ul><ul><li>Recently accepted a role at Edelman </li></ul>
  4. 4. www .ben -cotton .com PR Assessment <ul><li>Presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Essays </li></ul><ul><li>Reports </li></ul><ul><li>Exams </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive pitch </li></ul><ul><li>Portfolio </li></ul>
  5. 5. www .ben -cotton .com A bit of background <ul><li>PR e-portfolios were unprecedented in the UK </li></ul><ul><li>Robert French of Auburn University was a pioneer </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged by lecturer </li></ul><ul><li>Spoke to Auburn University students </li></ul>
  6. 6. www .ben -cotton .com Portfolios <ul><li>Portfolio is a PR course requirement – 15 items with rationale </li></ul><ul><li>Have been common in creative industries for years </li></ul><ul><li>Bridge the gap between academic and practical </li></ul><ul><li>Boost employability </li></ul>
  7. 7. www .ben -cotton .com Why go digital? <ul><li>Something different </li></ul><ul><li>A challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance with several forms of media </li></ul><ul><li>Potentially a much larger audience </li></ul><ul><li>Look professional </li></ul><ul><li>Easily updated </li></ul>
  8. 8. www .ben -cotton .com Electronic vs. Paper <ul><li>No paper vs. lots and lots of paper </li></ul><ul><li>Cheap vs. some expense </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate web 2.0 skills vs. cutting and sticking </li></ul><ul><li>Email link vs. show hard copy </li></ul><ul><li>Stand out from the crowd vs. follow the crowd </li></ul>
  9. 9. www .ben -cotton .com Digital Footprint
  10. 10. www .ben -cotton .com Personal SEO <ul><li>March 2006, Business Week: ‘You Are What You Post’ </li></ul>
  11. 11. www .ben -cotton .com Personal SEO
  12. 12. www .ben -cotton .com Result
  13. 13. www .ben -cotton .com Then I thought… <ul><li>I really enjoyed making my e-portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>I’m actually really interested (I surprised myself!) in them </li></ul><ul><li>I want to find out more </li></ul><ul><li>What can I do? </li></ul>
  14. 14. www .ben -cotton .com The answer <ul><li>In February 2009 I wrote an article for Behind the Spin magazine </li></ul><ul><li>I carried out interviews with PR senior managers, academics, graduates and current students </li></ul><ul><li>Finding out their opinion on e-portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits, pitfalls, anecdotes and words of advice </li></ul>
  15. 15. www .ben -cotton .com Academic Perspective <ul><li>Robert French, Auburn University: </li></ul><ul><li>E-portfolios give you a broader audience </li></ul><ul><li>Allow you to illustrate skills in an online environment </li></ul><ul><li>Make the interactive process faster via email, chat and social networking sites </li></ul>
  16. 16. www .ben -cotton .com Academic Perspective Karen Russell, Georgia University: ‘ They also show creativity and initiative on the student’s part. So even if those particular skills aren’t needed, the applicant might gain from being seen as a person with those qualities.’
  17. 17. www .ben -cotton .com Employer Perspective Stephen Waddington, MD Speed Communications: ‘ e-portfolios are a superb shop window into an individual’s skills and expertise. They enable a student to demonstrate the extent of their knowledge in an open and transparent way.’
  18. 18. www .ben -cotton .com Pitfalls <ul><li>Client confidentiality </li></ul><ul><li>Personal privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Extremely public </li></ul><ul><li>Could look stupid and damage reputation </li></ul>
  19. 19. www .ben -cotton .com Graduate Perspective Dave Turnbull, Skywrite Communications Graduate: ‘ I believe that being able to produce something a little different, whilst also demonstrating proficiency with technology is something that appeals to employers.’
  20. 20. www .ben -cotton .com Student Perspective Emma Long, Leeds Met final year student: ‘ I would like to think that an e-portfolio will give me a competitive edge – whether it be showing a good use of new media skills or simply because employers are able to see a sample of work a lot sooner.’
  21. 21. www .ben -cotton .com Result
  22. 22. www .ben -cotton .com Result
  23. 23. www .ben -cotton .com Wadds online
  24. 24. www .ben -cotton .com Employer Tip! Roger Warner, MD Content & Motion: ‘ To really impress, why not give a presentation of your e-portfolio and show results using a combination of Google Analytics, press cuttings and testimonials.’
  25. 25. www .ben -cotton .com Employer Tip! Stephen Waddington, MD Speed Communications: ‘ Inevitably employers are using Google as a personal reputation engine and scrutinising these types of sites to review an individual’s career history and work ahead of hiring an individual.’
  26. 26. www .ben -cotton .com Conclusions <ul><li>E-portfolios will not replace hard copy portfolios – just supplement the recruitment process </li></ul><ul><li>Consensus was ‘although an e-portfolio won’t get you the job on its own – it could certainly be a deciding factor’ </li></ul><ul><li>Nobody thought e-portfolios were a bad idea </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not just about e-portfolios – it’s about being active across a range of social media </li></ul>
  27. 27. www .ben -cotton .com Q&A Any questions?
  28. 28. Thank you Contact details [email_address] www .ben -cotton .com