Archive for February, 2013

Eros (3)Last week Petersens welcomed our latest GO Wales student, Eros, who will be with us on a 10 week taster placement.  We invited him to write a blog to tell us a bit more about himself…

I am currently in the final year of my Bachelor’s degree, studying Politics and International Relations at Cardiff University. I chose this particular degree due to my interest in current affairs and communications but I set off with no career path in mind.

In November 2011, I undertook an internship at the European Documentation Centre, a centre specialising in the field of European Union Studies. I decided to apply for this internship as it offered me a chance to attempt something unusual; translating country guides and other EU based documentation into Albanian, as well as learning how to amend the online service. As I approached the final year of my degree, I looked into applying for graduate schemes. I quickly realised that what I was applying for tended to be PR and Communications based jobs. With this in mind, I knew that I would almost certainly need to take on some kind of work experience in this field.

I attended a careers consultation at my University and was informed about Go Wales, who specialise in work tasters. When I applied to Go Wales, I found them to be exceptionally helpful in ensuring that I would gain work experience. I received an email from Go Wales regarding a work taster at Petersens and was instantly attracted to the idea of working for a successful PR firm based in Cardiff namely because it specialises in such a wide range of fields.

Upon my arrival at Petersens, I was greeted by Sally who introduced me to Rob, Eira and Louise, the team instantly made me feel very welcome. What I particularly like about Petersens is that it is not a vast business but a successful business that works extremely well as a team. It is now my third week at Petersens and unlike conventional ‘work experience’, I have already been given an abundance of tasks to complete including: a draft press release, research on clients and an input in the newsletter. My experience so far has been fantastic and the team has ensured that I always have something interesting to do, thus, providing me with the best work experience possible. I would highly recommend the work taster at Petersens to anybody wanting PR experience.

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Becky jamesAs we begin the celebrations to honour our patron Saint, St David, on Friday, we can remark on the wonderful few days of Welsh glory we had this weekend!

Once again our nation proved what talented, inspired, dedicated sports men and women we nurture.  A new double world champion in the form of 21 year old Becky James from Abergavenny, who was quite outstanding in her domination of the World Track Championships in Minsk, certainly lead the way for me, but in no way diminishes the wonderful team effort, from Manager down, of the Swans in picking up the League Cup Final in Wembley on Sunday.  These exploits, in addition to our boys in Red beating the Italian Rugby XV in Rome on Saturday and our Cardiff Bluebirds who continue to remain at the top of the Championship, really does show how Wales can succeed in any sport against often better equipped, better funded and unique opposition.

The Welsh magic shown by our sports stars can, and is reflected in other walks of Welsh life as well. From business to theatre, to academia, to science, to language, to writing, to acting, to music…our small nation is continually fighting above its weight.  Let’s really celebrate this week; the pride, the passion and the modestly shown by our sporting heroes and heroines.  If we all step up to the mark and go that extra mile in whatever we do, Wales really can look forward to another golden age. Well done Becky, Ryan, Michael, Ashley, Mark and all those involved in making last weekend one to remember for a very long time!

eng walFor those of us who work in the PR business in Wales, it was extremely heartening to read the positive remarks on the PR profession in Wales in last week’s excellent Friday File in the Western Mail, written by Rhodri Evans.

He calls for a level playing field when public sector contracts are tendered for, to enable those suitably qualified organisations based in Wales the opportunity to win such tenders.  In 2013, you do not have to be located in the centre of London, or Paris, or Cairo in order to obtain media coverage for clients in those centres.  If the story is relevant, well conceived and suitable for a particular media and its audience, a client can gain significant cost benefits by using a local PR consultant here in Wales.

It’s a no brainer really for those responsible for growing our economy and increasing employment in high skilled sectors such as PR; Procurement Officers should be encouraging our PR sector to invest in training, and convincing PR bosses to employ the very best in the profession by ensuring that local PR companies are asked to compete for all relevant tenders and aren’t excluded for reasons of location.  If a small consultancy like mine can gain coverage for clients in Africa, Canada, Spain, Germany, USA, Egypt, Italy etc then others can also.

Well done Rhodri for also reminding the business community that there is a pool of excellent PR talent here in Wales, and that all those using external PR consultancies should perhaps think again. Maybe they will be pleasantly surprised and can save a lot of money in the process and help our economy grow.

Breakfast ClubEdwina Hart AM, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science was the guest speaker at this morning’s fully-booked Cardiff Breakfast Club meeting.

Edwina began by discussing the city region concept, the progress of which has been followed with much interest by the Cardiff business community. While an important concept, making it a reality is difficult. Edwina expressed her gratitude towards the report produced by a group chaired by Dr Elizabeth Haywood, and stated that the Welsh Government would be ‘tentatively’ moving forward with its findings by establishing task and finish groups with close ties to local businesses. Issues surrounding transportation and concerns over the impact of a Cardiff city region on more rural areas were also discussed, with Edwina highlighting the need for effective broadband and 4G networks to support businesses outside of the city centre.

Links to local business continue with Edwina’s intentions for the area’s two enterprise zones, in Cardiff city centre and at St Athan. Rather than appointing the ‘usual suspects’, these are entirely private-sector led. Panels made up of key private sector individuals have been established and are working very successfully to lead the zones’ development.

Edwina also acknowledged Wales’ ‘integral’ creative industries, ‘small companies who often operate on a global stage’. She called the arts a ‘tremendous selling point for Wales’, using the significant interest from film makers as an example of how the creative sector is ‘taking the lead’.

Edwina stated that Wales has ‘got to fight for it’ in order to maximise its potential for business growth, competing not just with London but also internationally. While ministerial and departmental trips are often criticized, Edwina emphasised that Wales must ‘be prepared to go out there to get their business’, tellingly adding that ‘everyone else does it’. Wales must not only ensure ‘we have the right offer’, but also proactively champion that offer to external investors.

Edwina also introduced Derek Jones, the most business-friendly Permanent Secretary’ she has worked with. Derek has spent time visiting companies both to understand their experience and to learn how they consider the department, reflecting Edwina’s aspiration for the Government to have an honest and open dialogue with business in Wales. Throughout, Edwina emphasised the need to listen to the private sector to deliver her department’s priorities: prosperity, growth and jobs. She asked those assembled to ‘bring their ideas, scan the horizon and let us know where you want to be’.