I have been working in London at Maitland PR Consultancy for 2 weeks now and it has been a massive eye-opener to say the least. Working for a large corporate firm with an added experience of commuting into London every morning has made the ‘PR dream’ a reality.
The first two weeks of my placement have flown by but have presented me with many new opportunities. Within the first week I became familiar with Gorkana, Reuters, and Bloomberg and began to work on briefing notes and coverage monitoring. I had heard of Gorkana before from a lecture at university, however, I had never used the database before. Gorkana is an industry-wide used database meaning this will be a useful skill to take with me through the final year of university and into my career. Within the first few days in the Covent Garden based office I was given the task of running an errand to a nearby clients office and having only visited London a few times prior to starting my placement I was clueless as to where I was going. With some rough directions scribbled on a scrap piece of paper and an umbrella at the ready, I ventured out and some how ended up in the right place. I may have ruined my new suede pumps in the rain, but I now know the surrounding area a bit better.
The second week was spent working on more briefing notes and coverage monitoring and started to work on research documents for clients. The research documents would consist of coverage relating to the clients interest, journalists within that sector, and possible angles to reach these journalists. A second errand to find camcorder cables and a memory card was a bit more of a challenge during the week as Oxford Street was quite hard to find with minimal directions. Hurray for GPS on phones, right!
I am enjoying the placement so far, especially seeing the difference between the work I am familiar with to the new financial and corporate projects I’ve been given. I must admit, I don’t understand much of the financial language that the partners and consultants speak here, but I hope that I am contributing through other ways, like creative ideas for reaching new markets. As for commuting, that was fun for the first five minutes… Delayed or cancelled trains are always a treat at the end of the day. Having said that, I am grateful as experiencing what it’s like to live and work in London has smacked the reality into the PR dream that I had of doing it after graduating. I will hopefully be set some new tasks during the last two weeks of my time with Maitland that will give me more experiences to learn from.