Entering the PR world one baby-intern step at a time

Now that second year is done and dusted I have started my first of two work placements. I started as a Public Relations and Digital Marketing Intern at Atelier Studios, a digital marketing agency in Southampton, on Friday 9th May ’14.

The first day I was thrown right in at the deep end byWhiteboard ideas being given a client brief to work on. I had to generate a 6 month social media strategy plan for Varissa, a car sourcing website. I spent the day working with a fellow intern coming up with ideas. Atelier is a very chilled environment and they have a whiteboard wall where we could note down all of our tactics. It was a fun day getting to know everyone and putting together our ideas. We had to put everything we had come up with into a presentation to pitch to the client on the following Monday.

Day 2 was the client pitch which went really well. I wasn’t too nervous as I have previously pitched for a live client for an assignment on my course, so I was able to relax and pitch confidently. We received positive feedback and praise for our ideas.

For the next 3 days I worked on a number of different projects for clients, which I found very interesting. I started by doing some social media critique for a 3D printing company local to the agency in Southampton called isodo3D. This was fun as I could look into what they could do to enhance their social media presence. I also did some Copy Writing editing for a flooring company, which gave me the chance to show my writing skills. I then moved on to writing content briefs for a number of different websites, such as SPS International; a headhunting company that wanted a content brief about headhunting within the fashion industry. I am not massively knowledgeable about the fashion industry so this gave me the opportunity to research and challenge myself with a new topic. I also wrote briefs for iac acoustics, which is a sound proofing construction company, giving me a chance to research into the building development industry. So far I am enjoying being able to work on many different projects within a range of industry’s as it allows me to see what I am really interested in.

On day 4 I worked on SEO development of a website called Mr Nutcase and it’s adjoining blog called The Real Mr Nutcase. I created meta title tags, meta descriptions, and blog content updates. Meta titles and descriptions is a skill I have learnt from the placement and it was very useful to be able to use what I had learnt with a real project. Atelier is a digital marketing agency, which is giving me the opportunity to stem away from just PR projects and learn more about website development and SEO. The next day I used SproutSocial to schedule content updates to a range of social media platforms for a company called Associated Pallets. Associated Pallets sell wooden and plastic pallets, so I found industry-specific content that could be published. I also did this with the flooring company previously mentioned and researched for content within the flooring industry to be posted. I had never used SproutSocial before so again this is a new skill I have learnt. During the day I also wrote some more content briefs for Associated Pallets.

And that brings us to today… I began the day by learning the basics of running a website health-check audit. This is completely new to me so it is a chance to learn new skills. This afternoon I will go over the health-check in more detail and learn more about SEO development.

I’m half way through my placement now and so far I am really enjoying my time with Atelier Studios and I look forward to working on more projects. Stay tuned for a follow up post about the second half of my placement.

Experience: Client Meeting

As part of the Digital PR module of my course I had to attend a client meeting with my fellow campaign group members. The client meeting was last friday and was a chance for myself and my group members to show Naomi Garrathy, from FiveByFive agency, and Fiona Phelan, from CooperVision, our ideas and main strategy for the campaign.

To start the module off we visited FiveByFive agency in Southampton who focus on digital communications. They set two briefs with the focus of building a digital relationship with consumers. One brief was for CooperVision Lenses and the other for Welchs fruit juice. In groups of 4 we had to pitch to the rest of the course in an attempt to win the brief that we wanted to create a campaign for. My group made up of myself, Paige Hiley, Chloe Attwood, and Trine Larsen chose to pitch for the CooperVision brief, which we were proud to win. After we won the pitch it was time to get started on generating ideas, key messages and the main strategy for the campaign. The brief is focused on developing a digital relationship and driving consumers to CooperVision website.

The client meeting was scheduled last friday (22nd November) as a way of giving us experience in that type of situation, and also an opportunity to share our main ideas and strategy with .. and Fiona. My group was chosen to be filmed and shown to potential students looking to start at the university to study PR. It was a great experience and my group was very proud of ourselves for how well it went. The meeting was more of an informal conversation about our ideas and gave us the confidence to continue with our proposed ideas for the campaign.

Below are a couple of photos of my group during the client meeting taken for the SolentPR instagram page:

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We received some great comments back about our efforts in the meeting and I personally feel that it was a great experience to learn from and to have when progressing through the course.

I hope I’ll be able to get a copy of the video soon, which I will post to show what content was discussed.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what I’m getting up to as part of my uni course then follow my twitter account for frequent updates: @helencummingspr

A Month That Passed in a Second

The aim of this post is to give a brief summary of some of the exciting things I’ve been up to since returning to uni in September. It’s been a while since my last post due to the manic blur of returning as a second year student. The return to uni has been rushed and stressful but of course, it’s been great.

The first month back for second year passed so quickly, it was october before I knew it. And now it’s November! Time is just whizzing by and the assignments are starting to pile on. The first 3 weeks back at uni were very calm and everyone had that fresh spring of optimism in their stride. 4 weeks in and that had well and truly disappeared.

So here’s a quick timeline breakdown of the first 2 months back at uni:

1st and 2nd week: Assignments are set and the routine of lectures sinks in

3rd week: FiveByFive agency visit

4th week: Group meetings start and assignments start to come together

5th week: Tim Leroy, Marketing Director from Novatech – guest speaker

6th week: Lemon Squeezy freelance guest speaker

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I just want to mention how good the visit to FiveByFive agency was during week 3. FiveByFive is a local PR and communications agency with a focus on digital media. They set our brief to us which we later had to pitch for. The meeting was a great success and the whole course looked very smart and on form. Here’s all of us waiting to go in and get the meeting started. (I’m second in on the right)

The freelance guest speaker from Lemon Squeezy is coming up tomorrow which is very exciting and a great opportunity to find out about freelance work and compare it to the agency environment we’ve already seen at FiveByFive.

I’ve got a few ideas for a couple of blog posts that I want to do soon and will try my best to find time to get them posted. I’ve now managed to get myself a part-time job alongside my studies so I’m lucky to have more than a half day free. This ‘adult’ thing is hard work!