Work experience blog – Holly Davis-Grant

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We recently welcomed English Literature student, Holly Davis-Grant, to do a two-week placement here in our Bristol office. Here’s what she had to say about her time with us…

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Upon finishing my second year of university I had the sudden ‘uni-is-almost-over’ epiphany that I need to start climbing my way out of the warm and cosy university bubble and figure out what I want to do as a future career.

Not wanting to fall into the expected vocation of an English Literature graduate – teaching – I had to start looking at my options. I realised it was important to me to be able to incorporate a certain level of creativity into my job while still working in a business-like atmosphere. PR seemed like the natural fit for this, so I started looking online to see what I could find. After an informal chat with the lovely Julie she invited me to do two-weeks experience with the Bristol Grayling team. I was excited and actually a bit shocked as I didn’t think a big company like Grayling would take on work experience ‘first timers’ like me.

During the first morning commute my nerves kicked in and I started to worry about what kind of tasks I was going to do. I suddenly remembered the film ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and had visions of myself running through Cabot Circus with dry cleaning in one hand and an over-flowing tray of Starbucks in the other. I’m pleased to say this vision never came to life! In fact, it was quite the opposite. Julie met me at reception with a warm greeting and briefed me on the company and what kind of tasks I would be doing. She later gave me a tour of the office and gave me all the vital information – where the biscuit tin and coffee were kept!

Shortly after my arrival I was pleased to discover Grayling had prepared an efficient and handy timetable of all the tasks I would be doing over the next fortnight. Reading it over, I was pleasantly surprised at the types of things I would be doing – not a single coffee run or photocopying session in sight! During my two weeks I did a variety of tasks including putting together an editorial for a magazine, selling-in press releases to newspapers, booking bands for an event and creating content for social media. These were just a few of the many things I got to try out during my stay.

I was grateful for the amount of responsibility Grayling gave me and the sense of freedom I had whilst completing my tasks. I was lucky enough to work with almost all of the friendly staff in Grayling’s Bristol team and thankful for the varying scope of tasks they assigned me to do. The two weeks I spent with the company were a fantastic and eye-opening experience into the world of PR and have further cemented my motivation to work in the industry after I graduate.

This week at Grayling

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In the space of just two working days we devised, planned and executed a PR stunt for client Bristol 2015 to mark the one month countdown to Arcadia Bristol – the famous mechanical spider coming to the city in September as part of Bristol’s year as European Green Capital.

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Last Thursday we met with Arcadia to agree the Lords of Lightening Frequency Rider photostunt, which involved 2 million volts of lightening lighting up the Bristol skyline in front of iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge

The event took place on Monday, with all media materials drafted and approved. We turned off the street lights of Clifton (well, the council did), arranged for photographs and videography, attended a press stunt and managed media attendance.

We gained national online coverage on Telegraph Online, Independent and BT.com (pics of day) and print coverage in the Daily Telegraph (half a page!), Guardian and Independent I, plus a raft of regional coverage.

It was a very busy two days but the team loved it!

In other news

We’re famous! We sent in our Shaun the Sheep picture to the Bristol Post who featured it online.

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From L-R – Lucy, Lydia, Kimberley, Shaun (the sheep), Louise and Neil. Our photographer was Megan – she was too shy to be in the picture.

We think the picture is BAAArilliant! What do you think?

Tomasina

Tomasina, our resident tomato plant has been ‘getting it on’ with our other resident tomato plant – Tommy! We hoped that he may have been pollinated by a bee and therefore encourage Tomasina to fruit. No luck yet!

This week at Grayling…

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This week, we rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in to the launch of the M&S Spark Something Good initiative – a campaign led by the lovely Joanna Lumley and David Gandy.

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The campaign, which aims to inspire and motivate people around the country to take action for social good, saw M&S customers, employees and local community groups, plus our very own Kara Nelson, transform 24 community projects in just 24 hours for the cause.

With the help of the volunteers – including Joanna and David themselves – M&S not only managed to transform the 24 charity projects it set out to, but it smashed its target by completing them all well within the 24-hour time limit.

Over the next two years, M&S will be rolling out a further 24 volunteer projects in 24 locations around the UK and Ireland. If you’d like to get involved, pop into your local store to find out how you can donate time to your local community and improve lives whilst you’re at it.

A big well done to everyone who gave up their time on Wednesday and helped to launch such an amazing campaign – will this Spark Something Good inside you?

In other news

No updates on our beloved tomato plant this week – though we have brought in Tomasina II to help encourage a little….reproduction, should we say? It looks like they’re making friends already!

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Have a great weekend in the sun!