Always happy to give the young and upcoming talent of PR a glimpse into the real world of work, we’ve played host to another student and she’s sharing some wise words for those starting out…
Bridget McClean joined us while studying a Masters degree in PR. See what she had to say about her week with us and what she learned:
When I told people I was leaving my job in journalism to study for a Masters in Public Relations, I was always met with the same question; public relations, what’s that?
I felt I knew what it was but trying to explain it to others, who had next to no knowledge of the industry, proved to be a hard task.
Eight weeks ago I arrived at University of Sunderland for my first lecture and one of the first things we were asked was ‘what is PR?’ The question was met with silence, all of us stared back, blank expressions on our faces.
We knew it stands for Public Relations and we knew it involved reputation management and building relationships with clients, but did we really know the essence of it? Probably not.
And it’s not just us students; the definition of PR has been a minefield for academics, scholars and practitioners for decades.
So, to give myself a better understanding of PR and what it actually is I thought I would get some work experience in the industry, and I’m so glad I did.
Last week, I spent the week at Creo Communications.
Heading in on my first day I wasn’t sure what to expect. There is always that age-old perception that work experience involves making cups of tea and doing photocopying, but placements have moved on since then and I was encouraged to get stuck in from the get-go.
I was able to try my hand at a number of things. From writing press releases and blog posts, to attending meetings and doing video interviews, there was no task that I wasn’t able to get involved in.
Here’s what I have learnt from my time with Creo:
- Video is the future. Clients have a growing need for more and more content, meaning PRs are having to get to grips with a video camera.
- Meetings aren’t as scary as they sound. Every meeting I attended during the week, whether big or small, was full of friendly people, not scary at all.
- It’s so much more than just media relations. As a former journalist, the only side of PR I saw was media relations. But, although important, that is just a tiny part of what a PR person does.
- Sunderland College do really good food. I was lucky enough to be able to sample the Christmas menu at Sunderland College’s stunning new city campus. Maintaining good links with clients (an essential part of PR) means you get to enjoy little perks like this!
- There’s a lot happening in Sunderland. From the bid for UK City of Culture 2021 through to the regeneration of a number of buildings, there’s never been a more exciting time for the city.
I can’t claim to know everything about PR after just one week, but after my placement at Creo I have gained an invaluable insight into the world of PR that I didn’t have before.
Thanks Bridget! Best of luck with the rest of your studies!