Before I delve in to tell you about my amazing week as a PR intern, I want to share my good fortune and crazy luck I had last week.
As I’m due to go on a year-long placement next year, I have began applying to a few companies. As of today I have only applied to two. Both of which got in touch last week to invite me to the next stage! One company is the largest automaker worldwide and the other is one of the world’s leading beauty companies with $9 billion in revenue. As you can imagine, I was on an absolute high once I had received both phone calls.
On Friday I received a phone call from a large insurance company where I had applied and been interviewed for the position of Internal Communications Assistant, to tell me that I had got the job! As the position was advertised through the university I assumed it was unpaid and I was grateful to get it for the experience alone. But I was informed that it would be a paid role, two days a week, making sure to work around the days that I’m in university. I feel so lucky to be able to gain all of this PR experience alongside my studies.
Looking back, I probably should’ve bought a lotto ticket last weekend.
Anyway, back to my internship.
Back in August when I moved back to Liverpool I was extremely career driven, starting my PR blog and looking for potential placements. It was then that I decided to contact a PR office to intern during my reading week. I thought I would be wise and not spend the entire time in bed like most students, but instead be productive. So last week beginning the 7th of November, I spent the week at a PR and Marketing office on the top floor of The Plaza in Liverpool.
The First Day
Monday began with a deafening alarm at 6.30am. I was out of my house by 8am ready for the 45 minute walk to Old Hall Street. There was three of us on work experience in the office that week, which was a lot more than they would usually take. The positive side was that I wasn’t the only newbie but the downside was that there was less work to go around. It also gave me extra motivation to work harder and stand out among the other interns.
I started the working day by sending an email around the office introducing myself and asking for any work to be sent my way. I soon realised that PR involves a lot of admin work and researching for databases. For most of the morning I was given the reigns of a client’s Twitter account where I followed other businesses with common interests in the hopes of promoting the company and gaining a follow in return.
As the Christmas lights switch on was taking place on the Thursday, the office were working on receiving as much media coverage as possible by getting in contact with the press and trying to interest them in writing editorial for the event. I was shown how to capture coverage and keep it on file to send to clients in the future. As part of the admin work I compiled databases of media contacts in the North-West.
I noticed that a lot of the staff would have casual meetings in the boardroom throughout the day to discuss strategies and ideas for clients. I thought this was a very good idea as the staff are constantly engaging with one another and able to be creative and share their thoughts.
The Remainder of the Week
I tried to make sure I was the first intern into the office in the morning and the last to leave, as first impressions are everything. I also brought a packed lunch with me so I could work while I ate and made sure I didn’t miss any jobs that needed doing.
The rest of the week contained more admin work and creating databases for food bloggers and fashion bloggers in the North-West. For a particular hotel I researched events and national days of the year like ‘National Chocolate Day’, ‘World Prosecco Day’ and ‘Obesity Week’. I was given a lot of research-based jobs which I particularly enjoyed and received great feedback on. A charity client wanted to make use of the conference and event space that it had so it was my job to research the competition in the same area and see what they had on offer and how they differed to what the charity could offer.
Another client was holding a Christmas event and I helped on this project by profiling the guests that would be attending and I also created a spreadsheet of the Christmas decorations that would be needed so that I could price everything and make sure we were within the budget.
Another client was in quite a niche market in the environmental industry so I had the task of researching German magazines in this sector that could potentially give this client editorial coverage. I researched their circulation, publication dates, prospected features for 2017 and contact details of the editors. A client in the legal and trade industry also required research for a forecast of next year and important legislation dates that are coming up.
I really enjoyed my internship and was even asked to leave my CV and covering letter for potential placement for next year. The office had such a pleasant feel and everyone was so polite, welcoming and thankful of the assistance. I received a few emails on Monday from some of the staff, thanking me for my hard work so I was more than pleased.
I’m extremely glad that I undertook the internship as I now have this on my CV and it will stand to me in the future. It’s also great to see a PR office first hand and experience what actually happens day-to-day and the kind of work involved. I was able to work alongside the B2B, consumer, digital and social media teams so I got a great insight into every sector.
One of the things I appreciated the most about the internship, was even though I was only an intern, I was made to feel part of the team. Working with real clients doing real work. I was given challenging tasks to complete, not making teas or running menial errands. I was given chances to try, fail and improve.
I’m overly excited to be starting my internal comms job next week and can’t believe I’ve been given the opportunity of getting PR experience two days a week for the remainder of the year with the potential of a placement afterwards. And hopefully I keep being successful with my future placement applications and assessment days!
I feel incredibly lucky for the good fortune that I’ve had this week but it just shows that we have to go out and work for it. We can’t sit and wait for it to fall into our laps.
Fortune favours action.
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