The middle point of my Maitland placement

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.

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.

It’s the end of 2nd year, already

The end of term deadline panic is over and along with that the second year of my degree. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad about that. I’ve got only one year left and no doubt that will fly by just as quickly due to the non-stop dissertation work I’ll be doing.

It is certainly a relief to have handed in all my assignments so I can now focus on my summer work placements and my part time job. I have already received an assignment grade back and I was very happy to have achieved a 1st for my Solent Creatives freelancing portfolio. I put a lot of hard work and effort into this project so it’s great to have gained another 1st under my belt. Although second year has officially ended, summer has not yet begun (and that’s not due to English weather, for once). I have now started the first of two summer internships within the PR industry. Working longs days on placement mixed with part time shifts in retail is extremely tiring, but the fact I still have the motivation to get up at 7am each morning to gain important experience proves to me that I have chosen the right career choice.

Keep an eye out for my next post to follow, which will be about the experiences I’m gaining and the fun I’m having on placement.