A LOOK INTO THE FAST-PACED LIFE AS AN INTERN AT HOLYROOD PR

by Angelika Muzyka

Monday, October 1st, 2018

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PHONE CALLS, PRESS RELEASES, PHOTOSHOP AND MORE – MY INVALUABLE MONTH AT AN EDINBURGH PR AGENCY

Christie Arthur is a PR intern at Holyrood PR, an Edinburgh PR agency

By Christie Arthur

BEING a bit lost after graduating with a Journalism Studies degree, I knew that internships would help me gain some valuable experience in the world of work.

Holyrood PR stood out amongst the crowd and, having read posts from previous interns, I knew I would gain a great insight into the busy world of public relations. I wasn’t wrong – this internship was anything but photocopying and making tea all day!

I have been given responsibility to work on a variety of projects throughout my month at Holyrood PR and have produced work for a number of different clients from a real mix of sectors such as property, care, beauty and charity.

PHONE CALLS AND MORE PHONE CALLS

One of the first tasks I was given during my first week at the agency was phoning a Bield development manager in Greenock to find out about a foodbank collection the tenants were involved in. I was very nervous about phoning – I’m usually not the phone call type – but I persevered and actually, they were really lovely and more than happy to speak with me about the event.

As Bield’s AGM falls in September I was tasked with writing media releases about the members of staff who were receiving long-term service awards. Having spent some time perfecting my telephone skills with previous tasks, I was far more prepared for these calls and had a list of questions and a pen at the ready. Everyone I spoke to was excited to share stories of their time at the company, which helped give a really heartfelt feel.

Sometimes people are difficult to get in touch with, but my time here has shown that once you do, the chase is worth it.  It’s taught me not to be afraid to call people I’ve never spoken with about a story they are involved in because, in my experience, they are usually quite eager to speak about it – people always have something interesting to tell you. The people I’ve called during my time here were some of the friendliest strangers I have ever spoken with on the phone – so, in hindsight, there was really nothing to be afraid of.

My advice to future interns is to not be scared to pick up the phone – it’s not as scary as it seems and you will likely find out some intriguing facts that will help you with your work.

SKILLS TO LAST A LIFETIME

I was surprised at the variety of jobs I have been given by the team, having now worked on planning social media schedules, creating coverage montages in Photoshop, writing press releases, conducting research for clients and so much more – you really are given a lot of responsibility as an intern at Holyrood PR.

Christie Arthur spent four weeks as a PR intern at Holyrood PR, a PR agency in Edinburgh, Scotland

Having completed a degree in Journalism, I thought I would find writing press releases easy but I definitely had to adapt my writing style and really think about the language I was using for each of the different clients. Though, of course, no work I’ve done goes straight out to the press without the team looking over it first! Everyone has been great at making sure I see any changes they make to my work and explaining the processes involved in getting releases approved.

Being taught how to make a coverage montage using Photoshop was also interesting. These montages are a unique element to Holyrood PR’s website and they are made to display client successes. As a Photoshop novice, it took me rather a long time to create my first one, as I was still getting the hang of it. But after getting to know my way around the programme they became much easier.

Uploading press releases to the Holyrood PR website is another important job which helps the company’s digital presence by showcasing the work they do for their clients. I had a head start in learning how it is done, having already used the WordPress platform before. However, it was very interesting to dig deeper and to learn about how SEO is used to boost the website’s presence on search engines. This was all new to me and definitely will be an invaluable lesson for the future.

HIGHLIGHTS

A major highlight which I’m sure all interns love is seeing the pieces you have worked on gain coverage in the media. Hearing from the team that something you helped write made it into the paper or online is very exciting.  For me, one of the most satisfying moments was seeing a story I’ve worked on about a memory book launch at one of Edinburgh’s Bield developments being covered in Edinburgh Evening News. I even got to go along to the event of the book as STV came to film the event. This was hugely exciting coverage and it was great to see the event that I had been speaking to people over the phone with first hand.

The absolute best part of my internship has been the team here. They have been amazing at answering questions, explaining things and helping me learn new things every day. Anyone who is hesitant about applying for an internship here shouldn’t be – the team are all very welcoming and more than happy to help you along the way.

THE FUTURE

My internship at Holyrood PR has set me up with great skills and an invaluable insight into the working life in public relations. I have wanted to work in communications for a while now and this experience has really grounded me in this idea as well as given me the ability in going forward to do so. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Holyrood PR and can’t thank everyone enough for helping me along the way.

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