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The Serial PR Intern in an Award-winning PR Agency: What Comes Next?

by Holyrood PR

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

How Holyrood PR did not make me wait for it to gain more PR experience.

Written by Kirsty Turnbull

PR Intern Kirsty TurnbullBEING a recent graduate and thrust into uncertainty, it can be hard to find your feet in an industry that is notoriously competitive and relies on at least some degree of experience.

I didn’t come into this internship completely blind, having already done a couple of other short-term internship.  To develop on my previous experience and build up my confidence, I applied to Holyrood PR’s internship programme.

Armed with the basic knowledge I had gained from university and past internships, I hyped myself up by listening to the Hamilton soundtrack (something that I might be a little more than obsessed with) on the way to the office and hoped that I wouldn’t forget everything I knew by the time I got there.

The infamous Intern Bible was presented to me on arrival, I read up on as much as I could then got stuck right in.

Not throwing away my shot

I have already mentioned the aim of building up my confidence was key, and as an introvert I find being outgoing a challenge. Phoning has always been my kryptonite and it can take me a little while to convince myself to phone.

Hell-bent on getting better at this, I plucked up the courage and have been in contact with journalists and care home staff to get coverage and quotes. I didn’t want to let my fear stop me from getting the most out of the experience and really, I am better for it.

How do you write every second you’re alive?

OK, that is a bit of an overstatement, but I have had the chance to write a lot. Writing copy for client websites was a new experience and an arduous task of six different top ten lists. This required a little bit of research and a whole lot of looking for accompanying images we could use without any legal issues – after all, it’s important to credit the photographer where possible.

I also wrote plenty of press releases for clients ranging from Bield, the elderly care providers, to cosmetic professionals at Dermal Clinic. Writing is what I enjoy most and I am grateful to have been able to write so much.

It’s (not) quiet uptown

It’s always nice to get out of the office and do something different every once in a while and Craig took me along to this year’s Bield AGM at The Scotsman Hotel in the city centre, to help him film. Although it was mostly speeches, analysis and the presentation of awards and not an action packed day of shooting I did enjoy getting to see the behind-the-scenes of video making.

Not only that, I also got the opportunity to write releases for some of the staff celebrated for their 15 or 25 years of service to the charity, and see it all the way through to appearing in local newspapers.

Who tells your story?

Measuring coverage is really important to any PR agency and Holyrood PR like to be visual with it. Writing coverage reports was a little trick for me as it isn’t something I had had much experience with before. But it is really important, not only for the client, but potential businesses to see how well the agency does at gaining coverage and exposing the story to the write audiences.

I also got the chance to put some of my Photoshop skills to the test by creating a coverage graphic with the articles in it. I liked this way of displaying how the agency tells a story and what the outcomes are.

Non-stop

Digital has always been an intriguing topic to me, so much so that I made it the main focus of my dissertation. Being able to contribute to Holyrood PR’s website as well as some client social media helped me to learn a little more about how to build a good online presence.

I have a better grasp of SEO now, helped mostly by the very detailed and extensive 54-page website style guide which Kenny is very proud (defensive) of.

Finding experience in public relations can be difficult, and not all companies have the capacity to host an intern. So when an opportunity presents itself (like right now), don’t throw away your shot.

Looking to gain experience in a PR environment? Don’t wait for it, apply for an internship at Holyrood PR!

Use the form below to apply to the CIPR’s Outstanding Small Consultancy of the Year 2015, and gain real experience in the public relations industry.

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