A group of students who elected to study the module ‘Creative Industries and Communication’ recently participated in a visit to the Tate Liverpool to see the popular Transmitting Andy Warhol exhibition. The trip was funded by UCLan so that students could gain a working knowledge of the creative industries from industry professionals.
The most valuable part of the visit for students was the hour they got to spend with the Head of Communications and the Public Relations (PR) Manager at the Tate Liverpool. During this hour the students got to ask these two industry professionals about their roles at the Tate and what to expect from a career in communications.
Third year BA (Hons) Public Relations student Annie McIntyre said: “The trip was really helpful. It was really great to speak to people who work in the industry and ask them questions. It showed how parts of our course are really relevant to PR practice and gave me a better understanding of what to expect working in communications.”
The two also explained how the Tate Liverpool, part of the overall ‘Tate Family’, has an adopted tone in all of its communication using an accessible language with an open and modern style. The Tate strive to keep this style consistent so you can always easily identify them whether you are receiving a letter or visiting their social media pages.
Students were able to review national newspaper cuttings from the launch of the exhibition. This activity lead to a student question: “How do you ensure coverage is maintained during the life of a three-month exhibition like this?”
The Tate maintained their coverage using what was referred to as ‘pot boilers’ to keep the topic of the exhibition hot in the news. These ‘pot boilers’ included celebrity visits to the exhibition including comedian Noël Fielding.
The students were reminded that, as in some cases, not every aspect of a media relations campaign goes according to plan. The plan to have the exhibition featured on Blue Peter had to be cancelled due to insurance issues surrounding taking a piece of Warhol’s work to Media City UK in Manchester where Blue Peter is filmed.
The exhibition itself explored Warhol’s fascination with blending commerce and art (think of the Campbell’s soup tins!) and therefore was a good scene setter for students who can now apply this experience and their new knowledge of a working creative industry to their studies.