PR is an industry best learned with field experience. It wasn’t until I graduated that I found out just how vital this work experience would be, for both the intern and the mentor. Now that I’m settled into a position, I see why so many PR firms need interns to help grow and learn this trade. Juggling clients, emails, phone calls and incoming press coverage can become a bit overwhelming but with an extra set of hands, it can make all the difference. While we showed our intern how do press releases, we learned just how truly vital an intern can be to our company. They bring in new fresh ideas and are usually more tech-savvy, from knowing the latest apps to how to best utilise social media. Jack Welch coined the term ‘reverse mentoring’, in which a senior member is paired with the intern. While I could help teach an intern a new set of skills, I realised an intern would in turn help me learn about new ways to update a client’s Facebook or what would be an eye –catching post for Instagram. In short, interns can teach us just as much as we can teach them if we give them the chance to learn and grow and are open to their ideas.
This week our lovely Becky decided she would share her experience about her work placement at Clareville. Although her time was too short (DON’T GO!), we know she is 100% capable and would be an asset to any PR team.
My second year studying psychology at university was coming to an end far too quickly when I realised that I still had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do once I had finished. A panicked conversation with a friend who worked in PR led me to believe that it was potentially something I wanted to get into. After a few more weeks denying the fact that I wouldn’t be able to live my relaxed life at university forever (much to my disappointment), I finally decided to get my act together and look for some kind of PR-esque job to fill a few weeks of my 3 month summer.
I must have sent about two dozen emails to various different PR firms, the majority didn’t offer work experience placements, had filled all of their positions or simply didn’t bother to reply. That was until I received a lovely reply from Nikki, saying they’d be delighted to have me for a couple of weeks and to let her know which dates suited me. This was the perfect solution as it would give me a taste of whether or not PR was for me.
I was completely unsure as to what to expect from my two week placement. I arrived extremely fearful that I would become the designated tea-maker or be constantly asked to organise post or photocopy for hours on end. Luckily, this was far from the case as the Babyville consumer team had arranged a great variety of tasks. I was trained on new programmes, taught how to write press releases, I worked social media and emailed journalists; it is safe to say I was never without something to do and I gained a massive insight into the industry.
From my two weeks I gathered that whilst PR does involve spending some time sat in the office liaising with clients, bloggers and journalists over the phone and email, there is also a fantastic balance of venturing out to meet clients and attending meetings, press events and competitions. I especially liked the fact that the Loved by Parents awards were celebrated virtually, a great way to get everybody involved!
I thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks at Clareville. The team is genuinely so lovely; they welcomed me and made me feel involved from the very beginning with the offer to return if I’d like to. I even got to attend the annual PRCA summer boat party which really was an added bonus! It is safe to say that a career in PR (preferably Baby PR – it really is as adorable as it sounds) is definitely for me and I have Clareville and the amazing team to thank for that!