By Melissa Craib
‘KEEP calm and breathe’ – the words I was telling myself as I walked through the doors of Holyrood PR one cold Monday morning for my first internship.
Up until that point the world of public relations was all theory and books, now was the time to get that real life experience everyone talks so highly of. Despite reading multiple intern blogs of how great their experiences at Holyrood PR were I was still sure I’d stumble and fall and be hiding in the bathroom by lunch. Luckily that was far from the case and everyone made me feel welcome. I was now ready to take on the week ahead.
I’m not a morning person, never have been and never will be, so 7 am starts are something I begrudged and despite the words of good ol’ Dolly Parton I was not able to ‘stumble to the kitchen and pour myself a cup of ambition’. With my New Year’s resolution in full swing I was also having to embrace the early starts caffeine free – the struggle was real. This was proving especially difficult with a certain member of the team *ahem Kenny* trying his best to trick me back into a cheeky cup. Luckily though I managed to refrain and after settling in nicely I started to see what all the fuss was about – who needs sleep and caffeine when you have motivating colleagues.
I was given an array of tasks to complete during my first week including blogs, media coverage reports and press releases, but most daunting of all were the phone calls. I hate being on the phone to people I don’t know, Just Eat was a godsend when it launched allowing us all to order food without any more than a few taps on an app! However, after being given guidance on how to manage professional calls and completing what feels like hundreds this week I am finally feeling more confident with liaising with clients and journalists over the phone.
Now also feeling fully pledged in the workings of WordPress I can also upload media coverage reports and press releases to the Holyrood PR website to allow everyone to keep up-to-date with the hard work the team have been doing, including my own.
The first press release I was given the opportunity to do was for Bupa, their Claremont home was running a music group for their residents allowing them to socialise and have a wee sing and dance at the same time. This one was particularly interesting to me as, through my calls to Bupa, I discovered the story behind the music.
Following on from that was the story of John Thompson an impressive Bield tenant who is constantly raising money for charity despite being 73 years old.
And rounding out my week of press releases was Blackwood’s Laura Fergusson Court celebrating its 35th anniversary where the tenants got to refurbish their communal lounge. It’s a nice feeling of accomplishment seeing your work published on a popular website.
I have also had the opportunity to work with the Digital Account Executive, Kenny, and assist him in scheduling social media posts for a handful of clients including Bield, Eagle Couriers and Warners which has helped me understand the extent of research and planning that goes into just one tweet.
Going back to Bupa I also received some memorable life advice from a 109 year old when carrying out research for another press release. To live a long life he said it was simple – just don’t stress! That’s great advice but hard to execute when most of the time I’m just a big pile of nerves.
Thankfully my first week at Holyrood PR was stress free as I was kept busying doing the jobs I was given and was never afraid to ask questions or help. So I might get that long life after all.
Getting to do an Internship at an award winning PR agency is great as it allows me to get an eye-opening insight into how a PR office functions changing from theory to practical. Whenever I have a spare moment and the office is buzzing I love to just witness what is happening around me. Rarely do I hear of models and academics it’s a lot more about SEO’s and coverage. Roll on the next three weeks!
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