PRES2 – 7 days of communication and public relations in a multicultural environment

The domain of communication and public relations has developed rapidly in the past decade. It represents one of the most important department in an organisation because its main purpose is to construct and promote the image of it. The domain of communication and its various forms of representation: PR, Advertising, Photo, Film, Strategy, represent at the same time a science and an art. In order to create and sustain a powerful image of the organisation it is a must to understand and use in an appropriate manner all these elements.

At the beginning of May, the AEGEE-Academy created the best context for a better understanding of communication and Public Relations by organising a week-long advanced training course, the Public Relations European School (PRES2) in Novi Sad, Serbia. One of the purposes of this event was to create a multicultural environment so PRES2 manager Anita Kalmane and her team welcomed AEGEE members as well as members from other European youth organisations. The event schedule, focused on trainings and team work while socialising was of course as well an important part. The sessions were both professional and entertaining.

PRES2 trainings focused on different interconnected fields of PR starting from a general overview on PR and intercultural communication to the development of strategies, social media and design. The four trainers: Michael Makowiecki, Communications Director of AEGEE-Europe, spoke about PR strategies, communication and social nedia. Miguel Gallardo Albajar, AEGEE-Academy board member, led a session on intercultural communication and representation. Alexandra Tomescu, Zero Generation, was responsible for the case studies and also facilitated a discussion on the differences between PR and marketing. Isaac Andela from the AEGEE Public Relations Commmittee led two sessions on graphic design.

The training course succeeded to develop and implement an interesting combination of theory and practice. 15 participants had to attend three types of activities lectures, case work and excursions. During the case work small groups of 4-5 participants were working together on the development of a PR strategy of a given project. Each trainer was mentoring one of the teams. Furthermore the participants had to work also on daily changing tasks like recording a podcast or creating a video documenting the PRES2. All of these materials have been published on the official website of the event.

During one day of the training the participants had the chance to visit one of the most important Serbian TV stations – B92. A discussion with the PR manager of the station gave the participants interesting insights into the work of a PR professional and the internal workflow of a TV station.

The diversity of cultures present during the event shaped a creative environment in which they worked together, shared ideas about their culture and tradition. The very well build group is the best example how an intercultural learning environment can create „unity in diversity”.

Nowadays it is a well known fact that the equilibrium and a well-functioning of a modern societies depends on efficient and fluent communication. A well developed PR and communication strategy can become the most powerful tools in developing and preserving a strong image and distributing a key message in the field of youth work.

Website of the Public Relations European School 2:

by Raluca Bercea