Posts Tagged ‘PR’

Our latest work experience student, Alannah Williams joined Petersens to learn more about the world of PR. In this blog, she reflects on her last month here. Have a read through to see how she got on…

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Before starting university, I had hoped that I’d successfully balance my academic and social life with lots of potential work experience opportunities, thus emerging out the other end with a cracking CV and a job already lined up. For those fortunate types, that does sometimes turn into a reality. Yet for many others, including me, those aspirations might not always come to fruition straight away. Now, after finishing my university career with a clearer picture in mind of what I want to do, I find myself at Petersens PR for some short-term work experience.

Throughout my three years of undergraduate study in the field of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, I made sure that I contributed regularly to student media and various publications both online and in print. Creative writing was always my passion and that is certainly still the case. However, after returning from a semester abroad in Canada and then subsequently taking on the role of an ambassador for studying abroad, I began to carry out work that reflected Marketing and Communications more than straight Journalism. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as an ambassador and it solidified my desire to pursue this kind of work in the future.

I consider my work experience at Petersens PR, which I gained through the Careers and Employability service at Cardiff University, as my first proper insight into this industry. The six weeks I’ve spent here have proved invaluable and I’ve been given a reasonable amount of autonomy to complete work in areas such as social media marketing, e-marketing, press release writing and administration. In the process, I’ve learnt about the agencies wide range of clients and the daily workings of a busy PR team.  Just through being in an office environment and observing my surroundings, I’m much more confident about gaining further work experience and transferring the skills and experience I’ve acquired here into future endeavours.

At 21 years of age, the world of work is still an incredibly daunting prospect. However, if I’m certain about one thing, it’s that I now realise the importance of volunteering and securing work experience whilst you still can. Not only does it provide you with the essential skills needed to develop in your chosen career, but it also demonstrates to future employers your dedication and shows that you’ve given up your free time for bigger and more important things.

I would like to thank Rob, Phoebe, Danielle and everyone else I’ve met at Petersens PR who’ve kindly helped me along the way, giving me an extremely worthwhile placement and one that I won’t be forgetting any time soon!

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Our latest work experience student, Luke Aldridge joined us to gain more experience of PR. Have a read of Luke’s blog to hear how he found his two weeks at Petersens…

LukeAs a recent History graduate of Swansea University, I left university full of optimism about what the future would hold for me but due to not doing a vocational course I did not have specific career path set out for me. I had vast possibilities of careers, but this meant it took some time to indentify a career which suited me. After exploring many potential career paths, I came across PR. I have always enjoyed writing and have always been a very social person, thriving on developing relationships and it is for this reason that I identified PR as good fit for me.

After this revelation, I went about gaining myself some relevant experience to beef up my CV and ultimately get a taste of what working in PR actually entailed. I went to London for work experience at a mid-sized PR agency with a reasonably broad portfolio of clients and I enjoyed every minute of it. The constant adapting of methods, variety of client demands, and the way PR was evolving appealed to me as I never wanted to be in a job where the same tasks are just repeated day in, day out. As I completed this work experience, the Chairman of the company suggested I get in touch with Rob from Petersens PR in order to gain more experience and the Petersens team were more than happy to have me.

When arriving at Petersens I was welcomed to a friendly atmosphere and immediately briefed on the various services Petersens offer their clients, and shown examples of their previous work. After a team meeting where various ideas where bounced back and forth, I was put to work on a variety of different tasks, from researching, to drafting a press release, to social media. These tasks showed me how broad an industry PR can be, and how the techniques and demands are evolving with new trends and technology being introduced all the time.

As I come to the end of my work experience, I am extremely grateful to Petersens for having me and giving me the opportunity to hone my skills and gain further understanding of what a career in PR is like. I am sure the experience I have gained will benefit me hugely in the future, and I fully recommend others who are looking into a career in PR to do work experience at Petersens.

Having been in the Marketing/PR sector for most of my working life, it has always been difficult to give clients a really effective way to measure the success of their Marketing/PR budget. However, with the advent of digital activity, the Marketing/PR spend and the Return on Investment (ROI) can be much more accurately measured.

social-media-logosKey Performance Indicators or KPI’s should be agreed at the start of any campaign e.g. such metrics as key messages to be covered, share of voice, prominence, positive sentiment etc. Some of the most useful tracking tools for evaluating effectiveness of a campaign are Google rankings, marketing qualified leads, social shares, and cost per lead. Now we can also see how customers/consumers are interacting with brands through digital analytics and social media listening, allowing advertisers to capture conversations and feedback which 10 years ago was not possible.

So with this greater sophistication in measurement and the ability to fine tune campaigns to reflect consumers comments and reactions to particular messages, businesses can really learn what their customers feel about them. This means that advertisers can now much more effectively target their budgets with clear relevant messages.

pretA perfect example of the effect of an advertiser listening to comments from social media, is sandwich chain Pret A Manger who is re-launching its Quinoa Rice Pot after customers took to Twitter demanding that vegetarian products be made suitable for vegans.

Just look at some of the other High Street brands who have embraced social media, such as Starbucks UK with 1.35 million likes on Facebook, and Costa with 1.25 million. If you are currently promoting your business without using social media, and the resulting ability to measure the effectiveness of your marketing spend, you are missing an important element of conducting business in 2015 and beyond.

If you need help in planning your PR or Social Media activity, please do not hesitate to call us.

Rob Petersen, MD

Our latest work experience student, Ellie Bristow has joined us to gain her first experience of PR. Have a read of Ellie’s blog to see what drew her to Petersens…

Ellie picLike most undergraduates at university, it may come as no surprise to know that my future is viewed through frosted glass. I do not have a clear picture of where I want to be at 30 years old and what I want to have achieved by that point. However, when deciding on what career I would like to pursue, I differ from the stereotypical student. I am passionate about marketing. I enjoy building relationships with customers, whether it be the local who always pops in the shop to buy his copy of the Gazette or whether it be an entire company with a host of employees. Communication is something I enjoy and something I am good at (just ask my mum), so to have the opportunity to build a career around communicating with people is my ideal.

I am currently a second year undergraduate at Cardiff University studying Econ Sociology, which might sound strange after I’ve just said that I’m keen to pursue a career in marketing. It is precisely this reason which led my desire to do a Work Experience Insight at Petersens PR. Sociology degrees provide you with little experience specific to marketing and I wanted to learn more about marketing and the areas around it, such as Advertising and PR, from within a working environment.

I arrived at Petersens on the day of the solar eclipse, so was greeted by a crowd of people. I stepped into the office and any worries and anxieties I had previously held about this Insight vanished. The team were very friendly and the atmosphere was positive and relaxed, but still very professional. I sat down and was talked through what Petersens PR does as a company, who their main clients are and then I was shown examples of what they had done for their clients, as well as being informed of what my role would be over the coming weeks.

I have just finished reading through the press releases for some of Petersens main clients and it would be fair to say that I am thoroughly looking forward to working with this team for the next few weeks. I know that I will gain a wealth of knowledge from the company and that I am really going to enjoy my time here.

Our latest taster student, Kristina Salmane, has just joined us in the Petersens office. She has written a blog to introduce herself and explain why she wants to work in PR…

kristinaSince I was a child I enjoyed writing stories, taking part in organising different family events and meeting new people. I was curious and enjoyed learning new things.  Therefore, later on a career in Public Relations has proven to be the right choice for me. I have recently graduated from Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration with a BSc (Hons) in Public Relations and Advertisement Management and am currently a postgraduate Public Relations student in the University of South Wales.

Public Relations is not just a career for me, it’s my passion. It’s exciting, vibrant and never the same. Moreover, Public Relations gives me the opportunity to make a positive impact on society by promoting worthy businesses. During my undergraduate degree I have noticed a growing interest in online Public Relations, and after a couple of internships I have been lucky enough to work as a social media project manager with Vivax Communications Group. However, I wanted to learn more and further my professional skill set beyond the new media environment and work among other PR professionals. That is how I learned about work experience positions with Petersens PR. I’m now on my first day and I have already had the chance to work on press release creation. The first day at a new place can be stressful, but that is not the case with the Petersens team. You can feel the friendly and welcoming atmosphere from the minute you walk into their office. Therefore, I am very excited for the next weeks to come and get my hands on as many tasks as possible.

During my work experience with Petersens I hope to put my knowledge into practice, utilizing various PR tactics, and learn more from these talented PR professionals.

We’ve been joined in the office this week by our latest GO Wales placement student, Holly Claydon Bevan. Here’s what she thought of her Petersens work taster…

Cardiff University graduate Holly Claydon Bevan joined Petersens on a week work taster

After three exciting and challenging years at Cardiff University, last month my time in this beautiful city finally (and all too quickly) ended when I attended my graduation ceremony. My emotions were mixed; happy, excited, upset, and anxious.

Having graduated with BA Joint Honours in Journalism and Sociology, I have always enjoyed the Journalism side and considered it as a career prospect, but have always also had PR and Marketing in the back of my mind. I haven’t had much practical experience of this, as my degree was mainly theory-based, so I decided to approach GO Wales who were able to offer me a work taster with Petersens.

On arrival on Monday morning, I was quickly greeted with a cup of coffee by the very friendly Sally and Louise, and we had a chat about what I wanted to achieve from the week. Embarrassingly, my knowledge of PR has always been quite vague and I thought it was ‘something to do with marketing’, so I decided I’d like to get some real experience of it.

I was quickly given some interesting projects to work on, including writing press releases, media research, writing articles for the August newsletter and updating client portfolios. All of the tasks were enjoyable and informative and really helped to give me a better idea of the world of PR, rather than just stereotypical work experience placements of making the tea. In fact, I haven’t made a single mug since I’ve been here!

I was also given the opportunity to attend a Social Media Seminar and Networking Lunch with Sally, which was very helpful. It felt a bit like an episode of The Apprentice as we entered the boardroom and all sat around a big meeting table waiting for the speaker to arrive, but once the seminar began it was very informative. We learnt about how businesses can utilise social media in order to improve communications, for example by creating business Twitter and Facebook accounts, and the etiquette that goes with this. Even though I’m not an owner of a business, it was still a useful event to attend (and the GB Women’s Olympic Football Team was also staying at the hotel which was quite exciting!)

I’ve really enjoyed my week here at Petersens and feel it has given me an insightful experience into a Marketing and PR agency. My plans for next year are to earn some money before going travelling in January to do the typical gap year student thing. But when I get back, I’m pleased I will be able to put my Petersens experience to good use and will definitely be looking for jobs in PR and Marketing! So thank you to all at Petersens for a very enjoyable, interesting and informative week.

 

By Becci Gould, Account Executive

On joining Petersens PR last summer, with lots of work experience but limited knowledge of the industry, I decided it was time to up my professional skill set.

After considering studying a masters in PR before finding permanent work, the thought of another year of study wasn’t something that daunted me. After years of analysing texts and writing essays, I think I was perhaps even a little reluctant to leave my academic skills behind me.

So in September 2010, I applied for a GOWales Graduate Funding grant to cover half of my course costs and enrolled on the CIPR Advanced Certificatewith Cambridge Marketing College based in Bristol.

The year-long qualification involved CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) affiliate membership, 7 tutorial days  throughout the year (on Saturdays much to my dismay!) and 3 independent assignments.

Initially it sounded like a lot to tackle in a year but as soon as I got started I found that because I was learning so much that I could apply to my daily work, it wasn’t such a challenge after all.

Yes it was difficult to balance work and coursework at times, particularly with the first assignment which involved researching and writing two essays in two weeks whilst still carrying out my day to day work, however looking back it was definitely worth the effort.

Taking the course lightly would certainly be a mistake as it often involved giving up my spare time in order to attend tutorials and carry out research. I was lucky enough to have a lot of  support from my colleagues which enabled me to complete some of my workload within the office, which helped a great deal.

Fortunately, not to blow my own trumpet but I have also always been extremely organised so every assignment was planned and executed to ensure I had enough time to complete it without the frantic last minute panic to meet the deadline.

Although 7 tutorial sessions may seem like you’re left to your own devices for a good part of the course, the support I received from both my tutor, Peter Brill, and course leader,Heather Yaxley, was fantastic and I felt comfortable to approach either of them with any queries regarding the course itself or my professional development.

Every session, although relatively informal, was clearly planned to ensure we were able to cover each element of the course in detail using practical examples in addition to the opportunity for questions and feedback.

Each assignment was unique and focused on a particular element of working in the PR industry, whether it be studying key theories behind daily practice or planning strategic and creative PR campaigns, and therefore I completed the course with a wide range of both theoretical and practical knowledge which I could apply to my day to day work.

Although it has only been a few weeks since I completed the course, I can already tell how much it has helped me in the early stages of my career. Not only do I now know why we carry out certain activities for example, but I have also noticed a dramatic change in my confidence. I can now speak out in meetings and present my ideas with the firm knowledge that there is clear practical and academic grounding behind the points I am making.

I would urge anyone who is starting out in the PR industry to complete the CIPR Advanced Certificate as it is a great supplementation to practical development, and if nothing else if you succeed it is a fantastic confidence boost!

I will receive my final set of results in October 2011 so I look forward to seeing if all my hard work has paid off…fingers crossed!

Becci Gould, Account Executive , 2011

By Becci Gould, Account Executive, Petersens PR
  

Yesterday evening I was lucky enough to attend the Cardiff Bloggers meet-up, an event that occurs every month or so at Pica Pica on Westgate Street in Cardiff.

Usually the meetings focus primarily on blogging, with, as expected, the majority of attendees being bloggers themselves. However, yesterday’s event was an exception, with the room being almost dominated by an array of PR people from Cardiff, eagerly

Cardiff Bloggers Meeting April 2011 (Image Hannah Waldram, Guardian)

 awaiting a long-anticipated live debate between key representatives from the PR industry and a number of influential bloggers from the Cardiff area.

After following the recent incident between Cardiff Arcades Blogger (http://cardiffarcades.wordpress.com), Amy Davies and Golley Slater, the PR company behind St. David’s, regarding a inaccuracy in Amy’s blog that caused ‘quite a stir’ to say the least, it was obvious why a live, face-to-face and most importantly, open discussion was needed between bloggers like Amy and those protecting the reputation of leading organisations.

Despite being a journalist used to dealing with PR people on a regular basis, as a blogger, Amy explained that she felt ‘scared’ when approached by Golley Slater. Blogs are personal and without the support of an employer behind you, it is often difficult and indeed daunting to stand your ground when approached by PR people.

However, as Matt Appleby of Golley Slater PR explained, in this particular instance, the situation could have been dealt with differently and more appropriately by his colleagues who admittedly saw Amy within her journalistic capacity, forgetting that this was a personal blog. With all issues now resolved through face-to-face meetings, Matt and Amy both agreed that a simple phone-call to a blogger, is the best method of approach for PRs.

PR V Bloggers Panelists (Image from Hannah Waldrom, Guardian)

Despite one issue being settled, this last comment opened up a new debate – how do bloggers like to be contacted, if at all, by PR people?

Troubled by the thought of receiving constant phone-calls from PRs, Cardiff Blogger Rachael Phillips, quickly jumped in to inform the audience that email was her preferred method of contact. She also added that she likes to receive an entire press release rather than a ‘would you be interested in…’ email.

It was refreshing to hear that some bloggers have thought out the relationship they are willing to have with PRs, rather than, as one blogger implied, worrying that using information from PRs will turn their blog into a generic copy of popular media rather than a personal take on a niche subject.

To this point, Kate Sullivan of Equinox Communications, explained that PR people understand and respect that bloggers have their own niche subjects and personal opinions, but sometimes access to additional information through PR companies can help to support and strengthen one’s opinion…and who knows, as a blogger, you may even need help from PR people in the future!  

Clearly, bloggers’ thoughts on PR people are as individual as their blogs, a difficult challenge for the PR industry but one we should welcome and nurture in order to reach a positive and beneficial relationship built on two-way communication. As panelist and Art’s Marketer for St. David’s Hall, Jen Thornton remarked after the meeting ‘Moral of the Story…PRs and bloggers can all be friends, easy. 

Personally, I found the debate extremely interesting and useful – Beforehand I had always assumed that bloggers wouldn’t want to know us PR people but as the meeting proved, in an age of the social media revolution, the relationship between PRs and bloggers is one that often cannot be avoided and it makes sense that we embrace this relationship and, most importantly, respect what each party is trying to achieve.

Many thanks to all the panelists for some great tips, the hosts Hannah Waldram and Ed Walker and to Warwick Emanuel PR for sponsoring my free glass of wine!