University Communications and PR from behind the mask

University Communications and PR from behind the mask
A virtual workshop was conducted by UNICA, an international network of higher education institutions, with the assistance of Eötvös Loránd University.

This year, ELTE took on the responsibility of organising the 9th PR and Communications Workshop event by the international university network, UNICA. Traditionally one of the members of the network is chosen to organise and host the event. This year the conference would have taken place on the campus of Eötvös Loránd University, however, due to the current challenges faced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the workshop was held online on 8th October 2020 with over 70 participants joining in. The topic of discussions was inspired by COVID-19: „University Communications and PR from behind the mask”.

Following the opening speech by ELTE’s rector, László Borhy and UNICA’s president, Luciano Saso, the agenda for the event was introduced by Jón Örn Gudbjartsson, Head of Marketing and Communications at the University of Iceland, furthermore, he is the Chair of UNICA’s PR & Communications working group.

The workshop was comprised of two separate sections. Firstly, the topics of crisis communication and university communication during times of uncertainty were discussed. The representatives from the University of Iceland, University of Ljubljana and the University of Sapienzia commented on these topics. They touched upon universities societal roles and the question of providing information and support during times of crisis, and the experiences gathered through online events. Representing ELTE, the Head of Communications Department, Ákos Teslár delivered a speech regarding ELTE’s PR and Communications activities, reflecting on ways to ensure the provision of reliable communications in times of uncertainty.

The second section explored the recruitment and enrolment activities of the universities during COVID-19. Experts from the University of East-London, University of Luxemburg and the University of Vrije discussed the topic of marketing communications, ways to effectively utilise social media for reaching out to students, and strategies to completely transfer student recruitment activities to online platforms. From ELTE, Katalin Igaz-Öhler, internationalisation project leader, discussed the university’s international recruitment strategy amid the current pandemic. Furthermore, as a case study she presented the campaign of the second Erasmus+ call at ELTE this September.

To conclude the event, Jón Örn Gudbjartsson summarized the information shared throughout the workshop and thanked everyone for their participation.