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Friday 23 June 2017

I am currently studying Public Relations and Communications BA (Hons) at Southampton Solent University. The first year of my degree in PR has given me a brilliant grounding for understanding what to expect when going into the industry. But it isn’t until you gain experience in an agency that you really begin to see how PR works. There is a big difference between learning it out of a lecture theatre, and having hands-on experience!

On the 30th of May, I started my month-long placement at Six Degrees Limited, a PR agency in Reading, specialising in reputation management for STEM-based businesses.

From working in a PR environment, I have realised that everyday can be so different - this was something I was unaware of before gaining experience working in the industry. Here is an overview of a general day in the life of a PR intern:

9:30am- I check my emails, carry out media scans, read the news (it is vital for PR professionals to be up-to-date with the news cycle). Then I check my action list for that day. 

11:00am- I have a team meeting to create a press release and content calendar for a client. I found this extremely helpful as I could see the process leading up to sending out the press release, and the inner workings of a retained client account.

1:00pm- Its lunch time. Time for some fresh air!

2:00pm- I need to do some desk research on the media landscape, in which a client wants to gain a share of voice in. I analysed coverage from the past 18 months and created a discovery report looking at a specific topic to do with cloud computing. I was surprised by the amount of admin based work PR professionals do – and how much planning goes into an account.  

4:00pm- Time for an all-company creative thinking session. This is when the company gets together to come up with some innovative and quirky ideas for a client’s project. I found this helpful as it showed me just how important team work is in an agency environment. Six Degrees had a great team atmosphere in their office so lots of ideas were accumulated.

5:00pm- I check my emails again looking for new tasks. Then I would monitor for any coverage that has been generated from recent press releases and create a coverage report based on these clippings – something clients tend to like in order to visualise the PR successes.

5:30pm- The end to another working day. Before I leave to go home I tidy my desk and create my action list for the next day.

Six Degrees has provided all the support I needed, there was a great atmosphere in the office and the people were very friendly. This internship has given me an enriching insight into the PR industry. I have been able to improve my writing skills and gain a better understanding particularly around writing well-thought out press releases. I am looking forward to applying my newfound knowledge to my university assignments – highlighting my PR pro credentials.