PR Internship with Edinburgh PR Agency Holyrood Partnership
Thursday, February 16th, 2017
FROM RESEARCHING THE PAST TO LOOKING AT MY FUTURE – MY FIRST TWO WEEKS AT EDINBURGH PR AGENCY, THE HOLYROOD PARTNERSHIP
By Douglas Sinclair
STRAIGHT from the madness of Christmas and New Year retail work, I arrived at the offices of Holyrood PR two weeks ago – hoping to acquire new skills and a better defined idea of my future career.
While my History degree provided me with a more rounded image of the past, I graduated in the summer with an unclear vision about my future.
My visionary idea was to take a ‘shotgun’ approach to job applications, hoping that I might somehow strike my dream job. When this approach proved to (perhaps unsurprisingly) miss the target, I narrowed my sights on Public Relations.
However, this still left me in that well-trodden ‘Catch 22’ situation of having too little experience to get a job in PR but unable to get a job in order to gain the experience.
This was where Holyrood PR stepped in, offering me the brilliant opportunity to get a four-week taster, placed in the beating heart of a multi-award-winning PR agency.
Despite my limited knowledge of the industry (garnered from Google, career guides and previous intern blogs) I was welcomed onto the team and given key responsibilities from the outset.
I had anticipated that my first day would consist purely of reading the PR Intern Bible from cover to cover and further researching the business, clients and the industry.
I was right! But what I didn’t realise was that this would consist of the first part of the morning.
By 11am I swiftly became responsible for uploading a number of press releases and blog posts onto the website, gaining important skills on WordPress.
Still on my first day, I found myself creating seemingly complex media coverage ‘montages’ on Photoshop – and even had a crash course on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). While these were all things I had zero experience of, thanks to the Bible and plenty of questions for the team, I’ve quickly picked up the basics over the past two weeks.
My mornings have consisted of reviewing the sweep of newspapers for coverage or news relevant to clients, a job which has helped me realise that (despite what it may seem) there’s a lot more in the news than Trump and Brexit – and made clear that occasionally even the smallest of stories can often be the most important.
AT THE HEART OF A CAMPAIGN
Holyrood’s focus on photography this month has meant I’ve been a glamorous assistant in the filming of videos – and helped to upload image galleries onto the website.
This has helped to demonstrate expert PR photography, taken of 100th birthday parties, defibrillator training events, furniture donations and babies born at a client’s development.
It is now very evident to me that modern PR practitioners need to constantly think about visuals, whether video or pictures – and that the job has developed far beyond talented wordsmiths conjuring up engaging written content.
This has been an internship where I’ve been constantly developing and it has not just been PR I’ve learnt about either. I’ve researched the future of self-driving cars for a blog, learnt about the history and hotspots of the different districts of Edinburgh in order to complete area guides and discovered the competing companies involved in the design lighting business.
While researching and writing on a topic I’m unfamiliar with is nothing new, knowing it would be representing a client, not just myself, added extra pressure to make it perfect.
These tasks may have provided me a broad sample of PR work but it was my first press release and telephone call which gave me a real insight into this line of work. Although I had zero experience conducting an interview in this fashion, it wasn’t long before I realised that the client’s passion for the topic was fuelling my interest in helping to share the story.
With each successive release I’ve been attempting to adapt my style of writing to accurately reflect the story and the client, as well as taking on-board the in-depth feedback I’ve received from the staff. This has contributed to a massive improvements in the way I write.
In my own personal development, the last two weeks have been historic. Here’s to the next two weeks!
ADVICE TO UPCOMING INTERNS AND FELLOW CAREER-HUNTERS
Working at an award winning Edinburgh PR agency has been an excellent experience so far, thanks to the level of responsibility I’ve been given and the friendliness of the staff but most importantly it has given me a foresight into where my future career may lie.
If you are interested in the PR internship programme, get in touch with the friendly team by using this form below:
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