My Data or Data Mining?

By Associate Professor Will Thomas, Suffolk Business School 

We’ve all experienced the wonders of data-driven marketing campaigns. Search for a new mobile phone on one site and you will see a stream of targeted advertisements promoting special offers and the latest handsets as you continue to browse. These can be useful – I often get interrupted in the middle of searching and find an advert reminds me what I was doing earlier, or I see a good offer on a product I know that I want to buy. Equally, they can be annoying – continuing to appear even after you’ve made your purchase or starting to feel like you are being pestered or hounded into a purchasing decision.


Recently though, we’ve heard about other uses of our online data – how companies might use it to profile us, to make predictions about how we might act, not just in terms of which trainers we might buy, but also about how we intend to vote or what issues are most important to us. Stories such as those about Cambridge Analytica and Facebook or about the use of data by the Gold Coast council highlight the importance of the personal information we keep online. In a world where our data is increasingly ‘out there’ and searchable many questions are raised about how companies should behave.

For marketing professionals, these questions are an ever-present part of their day-to-day practice. As they act to advise clients on the creation of marketing campaigns these questions about the appropriate use of data come up regularly. Those starting a career in marketing need more and more knowledge about where data comes from and the ways in which data can be used in creating personalised content. This is one of the reasons that the new BA (Hons) Marketing course at the University of Suffolk contains modules that will develop skills in data manipulation and the creation of online content as well as those that discuss marketing theory and practice – and we also discuss Business Ethics! We understand that the marketing world isn’t about understanding ‘digital’ but it’s about understanding data – and this course will ensure that our graduates are ready for a career that will be dominated by data.


Creative careers event at University helps Suffolk students find their future

Suffolk students are invited to explore the exciting range of creative career choices available to them across the region at #mediadiscovery 2017, an interactive event hosted by Genesis PR, University of Suffolk and a wide range of local employers on Monday 27 February at the University’s Waterfront building.

Open to students aged 16 and above, the event will feature a variety of hands-on sessions from exhibitors within the creative media industry. #mediadiscovery is for anyone considering a career in PR, social or digital media, broadcasting, newspaper publishing, graphic design, photography, film production and more.

Exhibitors at the event include Genesis PR, East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star publisher Archant; Trinity Park Events, Yellobelly, Fred. Olsen, Sanctuary Personnel, Summer Isle Films, James Fletcher Photographer, Ginger Nut Media, Simple By Designs and the Public Relations & Communications Association (PRCA). University of Suffolk will also exhibit its range of degree programmes.

Genesis PR and University of Suffolk launch #mediadiscovery2017. Left to right: University of Suffolk Event Management Student Emily Rowling; Suzanne Nolan, Lecturer in Employment Development at the University of Suffolk, Penny Arbuthnot, Director at Genesis PR; Ellie Brown, apprentice at Genesis PR; and Laura Locke, Event & Tourism Management Course Leader and Senior Lecturer at the University of Suffolk. 

Leading Suffolk PR agency Genesis PR is working with the University of Suffolk to host #mediadiscovery as part of the firm’s pro-bono community commitment. University of Suffolk Event Management student Emily Rowling has joined Genesis PR on work placement to help plan and organise the careers showcase alongside Genesis’ PR apprentice Ellie Brown. Both are gaining valuable, first-hand experience of what it’s like to work in the PR industry.

Genesis PR director Penny Arbuthnot, said: “Following the success of the pilot #mediadiscovery, we are once again hosting the creative careers showcase with University of Suffolk to raise awareness of the huge variety of jobs available in the PR, media and creative industries.

“Here in Suffolk and the wider East of England region, there has been a strong growth in creative employment opportunities, demonstrating that students don’t have to go to the big cities to find success, with Ellie and Emily both shining examples.”

Laura Locke, Senior Lecturer University of Suffolk’s Business School added: “The #mediadiscovery2017 event offers exciting opportunities for our students at the University of Suffolk and from our partner schools to engage with business and consider the opportunities for their career development. As Course Leader of the BA Hons Event and Tourism Management programme, we are delighted to partner with Genesis PR, who have supported the programme for a number of years.”

#mediadiscovery will be held in the University of Suffolk’s Waterfront Building on Monday 27 February, from 2-4pm. For more information and to book your place visit the event page here.

#MediaDiscovery 2017 Invitation


Calling all students and teachers:

Explore the exciting range of careers in PR and new media waiting for you!

Visit #mediadiscovery

27 February 2017, 14:00-16:00, University of Suffolk Waterfront Building, Ipswich

Are you interested in a career in the media or public relations? If so #mediadiscovery is the event for you!

Find out about the wide range of exciting creative career opportunities available in Suffolk at this interactive event at University of Suffolk on Monday 27 February, 14:00-16:00.

Ever wondered what it’s like to work in PR, Digital Media, Journalism, Radio, TV, Design,

Event Management, Marketing, Photography, Videography and Audio-visual to name a few?

If so, don’t miss this event!

Following the success of the first #mediadiscovery, the University of Suffolk has once again teamed up with leading Suffolk PR agency Genesis PR to run the event for 16+ year olds, featuring talks and hands-on sessions with professionals already developing their careers in these jobs.

For further details email:

Find your future at #mediadiscovery – we hope to see you there!

Book your ticket(s) here.