#EBookInADay: A Public Relations Learning Hackathon

July 2, 2014

#EBookInADayRemember how I told you about the #EBookInADay initiative I led through CIPR in partnership with the University of Solent? The book, P2P PR, has now been completed and I’m pleased to share the outcome with you.

First, let me give you a little recap on what this project entailed:

#EBookInADay

The purpose of this project was for students to build up their public relations confidence by exploring and reporting on new forms of PR engagements. In order to do so, 50 students were split into eight groups and were tasked with examining and engaging with different disciplines within the public relations practice.

The goal was for students to use a range of new media, specifically social, to connect with their valuable stakeholders and audiences to gather rich, quality content to be used as they compiled their chapter in the book.

The Outcome

P2P PR, our #EbookInADay, explores how to put the ”public” back in public relations through technology and connecting conversations. It has been published in a variety of electronic formats and has generated thousands of references on Google, as well as social conversations on blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The lasting impact of this initiative can still be felt, as many of these conversations continue to evolve as a series of discussions on the University of Solent student PR blog.

This was a highly enjoyable project to work on, however, the biggest, and unexpected, challenge was transferring the content into a publishable format. We found there is a gap, in both process and production, between publishing content on the web and presenting it in a book format. It is an undefined area that will definitely need to be bridged by software and tools in the near future.

The combination of thinking and doing, and applying theory in practice in such an intense way created a great form of learning and development for the PR students. #EbookInADay was so much more than just an ebook, rather it was an eye opening experience to the vast digital world of PR.

Recently, I caught up with Catherine Sweet, who helped me come up with the #EBookInADay initiative, and recorded a short interview about the project and the outcomes. Take a listen here:

The #EBookInADay project was an extraordinary movement where students rallied around a common purpose. I’m proud of the strong outcome it received and can’t wait for the next one!

Stephen is a Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum and Visiting Professor in Practice, Newcastle University. Chairman of Future Proof policy unit and Past President, CIPR. Author of Brand Anarchy and #BrandVandals; and editor and contributor to Share This and Share This Too.

Connect with him on Twitter: @wadds