Offensive Mugs and Conquering ‘Phobias’: My First Week at a Scottish PR agency

by Holyrood PR

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

FIVE days into my internship and I have already learned more than I could have imagined.

By Alex Bowles

NEEDLESS to say, I was a little nervous when I walked through the doors on Monday morning.

It was always going to be slightly daunting, coming into a workplace where you do not know anyone, but the whole team could not have been more friendly and welcoming.

Keen to impress, I was straight onto the first tea round of the day, yet despite my good intentions I had fallen into a trap.

Blissfully unaware, I accidentally unearthed the joke mug, (which is plain white porcelain with a somewhat blunt message printed on its base) – which I then proceeded to give to Stuart, who thankfully took it all in good spirits!

Keen to crack on with work, I was swiftly tasked with a number of different jobs. My first challenge was to create a photo montage for Blackwood, one of the agency’s longest running clients.

Not exactly a technology whizz, using Photoshop for the first time seemed to provoke mixed feelings: a whole lot of confusion and a little bit of pride when I had eventually finished it, with the expert guidance of Cat.

This first day was packed with briefings from the team on various tasks, who always manage to explain confusing topics rather effortlessly (aided by the ever-helpful Intern Bible, of course).

The following day I was able to join Craig and Cat at Dermal Clinic in Bruntsfield when they filmed a PR video. The project centred on an interview with an appreciative client of Dermal called Judith. With the help of Alevere Therapy she managed to lose a staggering four stone in 26 weeks. It was incredibly interesting to see how this story was presented by Craig in the final video.

In my first week I was also handed the opportunity of drafting a couple of client press releases… I had no idea it could take so long to type a few hundred words. Whilst these were perhaps not my best pieces of work, they were probably not my worst either and hopefully I have improved as the week passed – the team also provided me with some very useful feedback, to explain any changes or edits.

It is probably time to comment on the dreaded phone calls often mentioned in the intern blogs and the source of great fear among many of us millenials more accustomed to messenger and email.

Despite the fact that ringing up a complete stranger can seem quite intimidating at first, it is more than fulfilling when you find out the information you need to know about a story and is definitely worth it in the end.

To summarise, with the help of the team (and quite a lot of coffee), I have learned a huge amount in my first week at Holyrood PR, and in the rest of my time here, I plan to learn a lot more.

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