While I’ve just finished my second year studying Journalism and PR I am currently at a crossroads on where my future lies within the PR industry. Feeling like I ‘mostly’ know what I’m doing I thought the best way to answer my question was to gain work experience in the global firm Grayling, starting at the top and all that.
Whenever I meet anyone in the industry they always ask me what sector I’d like to go into or what I want to specialise in? The truth is you can’t decide that in the classroom but Grayling has helped me find my place in the PR world.
During my two weeks I have been able to gain experience across various sectors so I could find out where I fit best. I have been able to see the different components which go into different campaigns and I’ve had the opportunity to work across a variety of accounts, from Retail to Banking, as well as lending a helping hand for potential new clients.
I thought I might spend the whole placement researching journalists and cold calling (the dreaded stereotypes of PR placements) but I’ve found that this is a great agency to live out my creative dreams in an office environment. What I’ve enjoyed most is creating content for various social media channels and the freedom the team has given me whilst doing so. I’ve had to learn how to adopt a corporate tone one day and a tongue and cheek humorous tone the next – all while remaining in the 140 character count!
I’ve also found the research tasks I’ve been set have helped me with my PR skills as it’s not something I regularly do at University. After it seemed there was nothing on the entire internet about a specific subject I was researching, the team were great in suggesting techniques to find relevant info which I know will last my entire career.
The Bristol team have been nothing short of amazing to me, there wasn’t the expectation that I knew everything but they gave me creative freedom on various projects, and were always making sure I was happy with what I was doing.
I’m extremely thankful to Grayling for giving me the hands on PR experience I need and not just using me for help with the photocopying! I’m sure you will all be happy to know that it has only taken two weeks here for me to finally decide that retail PR is the sector which I will be pursuing in the future!
On Thursday James attended the Marks & Spencer Christmas (yes, Christmas!) press show in London with Media Wales journalist, Kathryn Williams. Aside from sampling the sumptuous delights set to grace tables in six months’ time, they both had a go at decorating their own Christmas cupcakes and profiteroles and even had a chance to design their very own flavoured gin to take away. Kathryn quickly ran a story following their trip which you can see on Wales Online here: http://bit.ly/29InbNN. It might only be July, but our mouths are watering for Christmas already!
Richard was also out and about as he was invited to share a stage with the new editor of The Western Daily Press, Gavin Thompson at the South West PM Forum, hosted by our client Burges Salmon. Gavin and Richard shared insights with the audience of professional services marketeers about how to pitch to journalists and how to get the most out of your PR agency.
We were also lucky enough to be involved in the launch of the Better Food Company in what’s set to be Bristol’s newest food quarter, Wapping Wharf. As well as securing pre-open day coverage, our team – led by Helen – organised a number of on-the-day interviews and reviews, including this one by the Bristol Post’s food reviewer, Mark Taylor: http://bit.ly/29JLUhU.
©Simon Galloway 2016. All Rights Reserved.
The idea of pursuing PR first came to me in a careers advice meeting at age 18. The suggestion of this potential career path was met with the usual teenage shrug and a murmured, “No, I don’t think that’s for me.” In all honesty, coming from a small Cornish town, I didn’t know what PR was.
Fast-forward three years and I’m sat writing this blog post on my last day of work experience at Grayling. It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it?
I’m currently in my second-year at UWE, studying Journalism and PR, which has been very insightful in terms of where I see myself after graduation. Consequently there is no doubt in my mind that PR is the path I want to take.
While I had already undertaken work-experience in PR, I was still apprehensive on my first day at Grayling and was unsure of what would greet me. I needn’t have worried. Greeted by the Dacey duo, Meg and Cait, I was immediately put at ease and felt like a part of the team that same day.
It was impressive to see that my whole experience had been timetabled in advance so I could see exactly what I’d be doing and what was expected of me. In my short time in the Bristol Office, I was given the chance to take part in a wide range of activities including; photo-calls, selling in stories to the media and writing content for blogs and social media platforms. Working mainly on the M&S Spark Something Good campaign, I was amazed at just how much the team juggled. It made me determined to try my best and not let them down when it was obvious they all worked tirelessly and loved their jobs.
I’m incredibly grateful to the whole team at Grayling for their warm welcome, enduring support and complete professionalism. It’s been such a privilege to work with an amazing team and undertake a workload that has both challenged and interested me. My eyes have been opened wider to the industry and I know that my time here at Grayling can only benefit me for the future.
No longer a shrugging 18 year old, I’m happy to say that I’ve learnt what PR is to me – an ideal career. Unlike many students, I’ll be graduating from university next year without fear or apprehension because I know that there are so many exciting opportunities in PR for me to explore.