A quick start from the blocks in a PR internship designed to start off swimmingly
Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
An afternoon of vox-popping and a second-hand hot water bottle helped cap a memorable first week in a Scottish PR agency
By Catriona Timoney
KNOWING I would have to write a blog about my first week at Holyrood PR, I had hoped to be able to create a storm with something quite unlike anything else written by an intern.
Unfortunately for me, the work is as hands on as I’d hoped, the people are as nice as I had read and the intern bible is as hefty as the jokes – nothing new there then.
I arrived on my first day unsure of what to expect. I graduated in June 2015, with a first in Politics and Sociology but no clue about what I actually wanted to do with it.
I began sending out countless CVs and what felt like thousands of 20 page job applications. Turns out these days, even with your degree, you’re a tiny little fish in a big ole’ pond. Without relevant experience it’s pretty difficult to ‘just keep swimming’.
Fish metaphors aside, I began seeking experience but even internships were few and far between, often also requiring experience which confused me- surely an internship is the experience? With every rejection email, I felt my spirits dampen, until I was lucky enough to be asked to fill Holyrood PR’s March intern slot.
I had applied to this position as reading the success stories of countless interns who gained skills, experience and confidence in a fast-paced friendly environment- I didn’t want to miss out.
One week down and I’m so glad that I did. Quickly welcomed into the office, my first day jitters were instantly soothed by the first tea run and a quick once over of the intern bible.
Once I was settled, I was given hands-on tasks and left my first day having: created social media content for clients and even drafted a press release.
I was also asked to contact news desks to update media list contacts, which meant using the dreaded phone, however with the script provided by the lovely Melissa I completed the task and left day one with a real sense of achievement.
The rest of the week flew by, I was involved in the morning paper sweep, which gave me great insight into our clients and made me feel like part of the team.
I attended meetings, continued drafting press releases, uploaded a post to the website using WordPress and even had a blog post for a client signed off in one day. Who knew I’d ever get so excited over a post on potholes.
On Friday I took to the Edinburgh’s Castle Street with Stuart and Craig, where I politely pestered the public in a bid to discover the true importance of a Facebook first-impression for business. I had never presented a video before but I really enjoyed the experience and it was really interesting to find out the work that goes into creating video content.
Overall, it’s been an amazing first week, I have been involved in some really interesting tasks, and warmly welcomed to the team (quite literally- thanks for the hot water bottle Alie).
So without further ado, to all future interns, my week one top tips are as follows:
- Ask questions even if you think they are silly- the team will set you up for each task really well, but if you need to ask questions or clarify, they are always on hand with helpful advice and feedback
- Don’t be scared of the phone- it provides you with quick responses and means you can continue to gain communication skills
- Get involved in the tea runs- although this isn’t the main thing you will be doing, surprise yourself by finding out how many different tea/coffee orders you can remember at once!
- Enjoy yourself, take on every task you can because each day can provide you with a new set of skills that, whilst boost your CV, make you feel accomplished.
LOOKING TO GAIN CRITICAL EXPERIENCE IN A PR INTERNSHIP?
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Scottish public relations agency Holyrood PR in Edinburgh, Scotland, runs a rolling programme of placements for PR interns, working alongside our team of PR experts. Many of the most successful PR interns go on to land full time PR jobs with our award-winning Scottish public relations agency.View PR's Profile
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