Our most recent intern, Holly, has written a brilliant blog post about the last three months – time she has spent as part of the PR team at our offices in Cardiff city centre – as she lifts the lid on what 12 weeks in the life of a PR intern is really like…
“I’m a recent graduate who has been thinking non-stop about what the heck to do with my life now I’ve left the comfort zone of university. I’ve always been interested in the media and after reading more and more about PR, I thought it could be a great match for my interests and skills. I knew the only way to find out if I liked it was to actually try it – cue me emailing Golley Slater and asking them to take a chance on me!
I was nervous because I’d never ‘done PR’ before but I knew I could apply my existing skills (communication, organisation, and writing) to the job, and hoped these would stand me in good stead. I’ll admit that the first day was straight in the deep end, but I loved it. I had had no idea what to expect so it was quite fun to start thinking about social media planning straightaway – it’s safe to say I hadn’t thought I’d be looking at GIFs and memes on my first day! The office is always buzzing with people rushing around and the phones are constantly ringing but it turns out that I much prefer a fast-paced environment with bus-loads of work.
I have quickly learned that every day is different – I could be working on several different types of work and clients throughout the day; multi-tasking is key. In this digital age, social media presence is very important for companies and organisations and so a lot of the work I’ve done has been focused on that area, but traditional PR methods are still going strong so I’ve also been involved in generating print and broadcast coverage, too.
I’ve helped with client social media plans, preparing Facebook posts and tweets (the 140-character count can be a nightmare sometimes!) and finding accompanying images or GIFs, all the while making sure the key messages are there and the tone fits the company’s image and target audience. ‘Listicles’ have ranged from interview tips to viral internet stories so I’ve really enjoyed researching those.
Then there’s the basics: I’ve created lots of media lists for different clients and sectors. I’ve had to find publications which would suit the client’s target audience, find the most suitable journalist within that publication and get their contact details. It takes quite a bit of detective work sometimes, especially if it’s a niche market like forklift trucks! I’ve also tracked down bloggers, or social media influencers with certain interests like music or food.
News releases and blog posts require a completely different kind of writing to what I’ve been used to, so it’s been great to have the chance to hone those styles and I’ve been given really useful feedback for each press release.
I knew my writing skills would be key, but I’ve had to do a little maths too (just the basics of course). Results and statistics are important to companies to measure their growth and impact, and I’ve had to find stats to support certain social campaigns. I’ve also had to source quotes from dozens of companies for promotional products – from stress balls and t-shirts, to coffee cups and mint tins, and it was a throwback to school trying to get my head around the VAT!
PR is all about building relationships, so this can mean a lot of phone calls! This can range from calling people to ask if they would like to be case studies for campaigns, to phoning journalists to tell them about stories or pitch a feature. People are usually happy to listen and talk, which definitely makes the job easier.
I’ve also had to use my people skills in person, of course. Dydd Miwsig Cymru (Welsh Language Music Day) happened in February and it was brilliant to go a Welsh language gig in Cardiff. I was helping with the liaising between journalists and key promoters and performers on the day, including Radio One DJ Huw Stephens, and The Gentle Good. I also went up to north Wales with a colleague to help manage a visit where an apprentice had gone back to his old school as part of his role as an ambassador for National Apprentice Week. For this, I had to liaise with the school, the training provider, the employer and the photographer, to make sure we got what we needed for the media.
It’s been pretty intense learning all about the PR world, and I’ve loved every minute. I’ve been in several different work environments over the last few years, but what’s made this one stand out in particular is the people. Everyone really has been brilliant – super lovely and friendly, always happy to give me feedback despite being busy – and there have been some hilarious moments too! I’m really thankful to Golley Slater for firstly giving me the opportunity, and secondly to the whole team for making my time here an amazing experience.
I’m off travelling now for a few months but what I have learned from this internship is that I definitely want to work in PR when I come back. The last three months have really helped me improve my skills and I’ve learnt a lot about the industry – things you can only get with hands-on experience. For anyone interested in PR, I would highly recommend applying for an internship with Golley Slater – you’ll love it!”
Our paid, three-month internships are available throughout the year. To register your interest for the next available vacancy, please send a cover letter and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.