An internship to remember

Intern Programme

More than just an internship – my invaluable experience at Holyrood PR

PR photograph of Sinead Donnelly, an intern at a Scottish PR agency, Holyrood PR
By Sinead Donnelly

IT FEELS like only yesterday that I was walking into Holyrood PR with a tight knot in my stomach at the thoughts of starting my internship with an award-winning, Scottish PR agency.

The last four weeks have disappeared before my eyes and my time at the agency has been an incredibly valuable and enjoyable experience.

I have progressed from feeling apprehensive about messing up every day (I was genuinely too nervous to make anyone a cup of tea during my first few days) to feeling completely at ease in the office.

Not just making tea

During my time at Holyrood PR I have been tasked with a variety of challenging and interesting jobs including:

  • Conducting newspaper sweeps to find potential stories for clients
  • Content managing the impressive Holyrood website
  • Learning how to search engine optimise (SEO)
  • Researching for international press contacts for Nira Caledonia
  • Creating spreadsheets for influencer contacts
  • Writing and issuing a variety of press releases for Bield, Jerba campervans and SBRC
  • Pitching to businesses to feature in the CALA homes brochure
  • Writing copy for the CALA Homes brochure
  • Interviewing a variety of interesting people
  • Creating content and scheduling social media for Eagle Couriers
  • Uploading content to the Holyrood website
  • Creating client coverage montages in Photoshop
  • Attending team meetings and brainstorms

The highlights

One of the most enjoyable experiences for me was my time acting in a video for Boyd legal with talented videographer Seb and two other colleagues. Despite having to re-do many takes to satisfy Seb’s keen eye for detail, I found the whole experience fun and insightful and was even rewarded with a pastry.

My previous journalism experience also came into play when I accompanied Seb to Herriot Watt University where I interviewed CALA Homes representatives, lecturers and students about the CALA Homes and Herriot Watt partnership in a design competition for the Homes of the future.

Writing press releases has also been one of my favourite aspects of life at Holyrood PR as I have always loved writing and telling intriguing stories. I was delighted when two of my Bield press releases received coverage in the media including the Dundee Telegraph. I have really learned the importance of writing to a level where your story can be used by media to secure coverage for your client.

My favourite press release to write was by far a release on how Jerba Campervans have made on-call shifts easier for an emergency medical consultant. I interviewed this Doctor and was fascinated by how her campervan has made her working life more sustainable.

I also have loved the Holyrood dogs; Willow the adorable, golden spaniel and Fergus the enormous Irish wolfhound.

Photograph of Edinburgh PR agency office dog, Fergus

The Holyrood PR team

During this short month, I have valued the time, support and experience the team have shown me. The fact that they have new interns coming and going on a regular basis means they are constantly training new interns from scratch.

It’s amazing that the team are still so willing to show you how to learn the ropes without making you feel like a nuisance. I have received tutoring in some form from every member of the team including the Directors and I can’t thank them enough.

Despite coming from Ireland and struggling with some of the thicker Scottish accents in the office and on the phone, I have loved my experience in a Scottish PR agency. I’ve also gotten some slack for being Irish by not even realising I say “Thanks a million” to everyone dozens of times a day.

Advice to any new interns

My advice to any future intern is don’t be afraid to ask for help! Don’t just sit there unsure of what to do – the team are more than happy to help. Enjoy the experience and learn as much as you can because the weeks will fly by and your internship will be over before you know it.

My experience in the exciting, fast-paced world of Scottish PR has been quite different from my Irish PR experience. The support, encouragement and tutoring has been incredible and means I have gained a wealth of experience to take with me in my future PR career.

Want to take Sinead’s advice and get on the intern programme?

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