My time at Ho-Ho-Holyrood PR
Friday, December 21st, 2018
My festive experience interning at an Edinburgh PR agency
By Nuha Zulkernain
MY time at Holyrood PR has whizzed by, but the lessons I have learnt stand the test of time as I edge closer to the world of employment.
After finishing exams for the year, one would use the Christmas break to recover from the crazed rush of university life, gather all the mince pies and settle into a long hibernation. But before 2018 ends, I thought it was ideal to fit in some time at the renowned Holyrood PR Agency.
After scoping online, I was so glad that I discovered Holyrood PR – their untiring effort to spread exciting new stories in unique ways caught my attention. As someone who prioritises writing when thinking of their ideal career, this is the right place to be as they nurture your skills.
From reading other fellow intern blog posts they were not wrong when they said that everyone at Holyrood is friendly and welcoming. What isn’t mentioned as much is how they treat you like an equal by including you in the meetings and listening to your thoughts.
Of course, the nervousness of entering a completely new environment did get the better of me, but I was quickly reassured when I sat down to start the famous newspaper sweep. Finding a really good news story that connects with one of the clients always feels like a small victory – even random research studies can be a gateway for a new idea to promote the client.
Press Release Writing
During my time, I was entrusted with the task of writing press releases for Bield and Surgeons Quarter. Studying English literature has instilled a skill in me to expand each point I make and justify it with copious amounts of evidence.
Press release writing, however, turns this on its head and takes a more concise, sleek approach. I was apprehensive about the format and style of writing but after reading a sum of releases written by the people sitting around me, I felt comfortable with accumulating all the necessary information and just diving in.
For a Bield release, this posed another new task – phoning the manager at Bo’ness’s development to ask questions about their Christmas party. Much to my surprise, the phone call went smoothly and I managed to get vital details which led to ongoing email correspondence. This helped with ironing out the finishing touches of the press release. So, if you didn’t get all the information you needed during the phone call, don’t hesitate to email or call again!
After hitting a few walls when using language that fits with the Christmas spirit, I came out the other end with an approved press release and newfound skills of being meticulous when highlighting the best aspects of the matter.
An implicit lesson I learnt about public relations is the great amount of research one would have to do in order to make a worthy press release. From listening to the Scottish Budget Report live to finding new facts about cancer survival rates, being at the forefront of gaining new information is second nature to the team.
Other Important Aspects of PR
By slowly strengthening my skills over the past weeks, I never felt like I was submerged into a sea of tasks without a clue of what I was doing. Instead, I was grateful for the gradual build-up of responsibilities and felt especially ready for trying my hand at Photoshop. Courtesy of the detailed, slowed lesson from Izzy, I managed to complete a coverage montage. The montage was for Nira Caledonia’s successful whisky story and (after a few questions), I was really pleased with how it turned out.
My experience was not totally office-bound as I gained an insight into the importance of drone operation. Clients such as CALA Homes rely on Holyrood’s expertise to capture the company’s developments on video. Learning about the intricacies of drone technology prompted me to look at PR from a different angle.
For the Future
As we all wind down for Christmas, I will use my time off to reflect on my experience here and maybe try and realise the vast amount of new skills I have picked up. If you’re still mulling over whether or not to send your CV to the team at Holyrood PR, or are awaiting the start of your internship, believe me when I say you are in very good hands.
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