Posts Tagged ‘public relations’

GO Wales logoOur latest GO Wales Taster student, Holly, joined us yesterday for the first day of her 8 week placement. We asked her to write a blog to introduce herself, and give us her first impressions of the world of PR!

Having just finished my second year of university and enduring a 3 hour statistics exam in the process, I felt relieved and excited at the prospect of a long summer ahead. However, after celebrating the end of exams, inevitably the wave of anxiety came and the thought of going into final year with little idea of what path I wanted to take materialised.

Holly JonesAfter studying Psychology at the University of Exeter for two years I have gained a broad knowledge of how and why people behave (as well as the more unexciting biological and mathematical elements of my course!) and having always had a keen interest in business I felt that these skills could easily transfer to a marketing or PR profession.  Despite my new found enthusiasm for business, I felt that I needed to trial these areas before applying to graduate jobs/ schemes in order to see if PR was as captivating as ‘Sex and the City’ made it out to be.

As a result of my motivation to not waste my summer and think ahead, I got in touch with GO Wales who kindly sent me in the direction of Petersens. Before applying I researched the company and found the emphasis on a small friendly company appealing, in contrast to the larger corporate PR firms which I feel lose their sincerity. After successfully attaining a ‘work taster’ with Petersens I arrived bright and early, and was introduced to the company who welcomed me extremely warmly. Having just come back from a holiday in Greece all my prior research on PR had sadly been forgotten amongst the excitement, however Eira and Susannah explained the basics of PR to me and their insight furthered my understanding substantially.

Over the past years I have worked in many restaurants, hotels and retail outlets and can honestly say my first day at work has never been so friendly and I look forward to the upcoming weeks with the hopes of this experience helping me decide whether PR is what I will focus my efforts after I graduate (fingers crossed!).

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Our latest GO Wales Student, Katy Harris, joined us for the first time today as part of a 10 week taster placement. We asked her to write a blog to introduce herself, and explain what interests her about the world of PR…

KatyWith only two months left of my degree at Cardiff University I am filled with excited anticipation of what comes next. Being a bright eyed and bushy tailed soon-to-be-graduate, I am eager to close my university chapter and delve into the real world.

Throughout my three years studying Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies, I’ve written for JOMAG, a newsletter specific to the school of journalism. I have also created my own blog, writing about my student journalistic experience and travelling I have done. Last summer I had the chance to report on the graduation ceremonies and had the privilege of interviewing a few of the honorary fellows such as Madeleine Bunting, an associate editor at the Guardian.

I am excited for my first work experience placement to be at Petersens PR as I am eager to learn from industry professionals who have worked with a variety of clients on different projects. I am originally from a small Welsh town and hope to live in Wales in the future so it is a great honour to be able to learn from a successful Welsh company with an excellent reputation.

From this experience I hope to gain more knowledge of how a PR company operates on a day to day basis. While I have been fortunate to attend Cardiff University, the course I am studying is all theoretical so real world experience is limited. I have recently completed a module based on PR which sparked an interest for me. I did my own research to learn more about the PR industry and it is now something that I am enthusiastic to be a part of.

I hope to further my knowledge of PR and other aspects that Petersens are involved with, such as campaigns and advertising. I am also keen to learn about what it takes to run and maintain a successful company.  It’s my first day here at Petersens and I was warmly welcome by Eira and introduced to Rob and Susannah who were so welcoming and friendly. I really appreciate the opportunity they have given me and am excited to see what the next few weeks hold.

Our latest GO Wales Taster student Katie has come to the end of her 10 week placement with us. We asked her to write a blog about her experience at Petersens…

katieI sadly said goodbye to the good people of Petersens today after finishing my placement, and what a ten weeks it has been! Before I started at Petersens, I had very limited experience of working in a PR agency and I am very happy that my first proper experience was here.

Thinking about what I will take away from the experience, there were the obvious answers. Writing publishable press releases for real clients and compiling media lists will definitely benefit me in my future PR ventures. Reading through tenders and meeting schedules and sometimes joining in myself have been new experiences for me and have contributed to a more rounded knowledge of PR.  I have also overcome proper challenges here. Speaking on the phone has always been something I have struggled with in the past, mainly because I get nervous and mix my words and  get worried about coming across as unprofessional. I now feel more confident to talk to media relations on the phone which is something I am proud to take away with me.

Clearly not because of the free breakfast, although it was a plus, preparing for and attending the Breakfast Club was probably one of my favourite memories with Petersens. I was fortunate enough to come face to face with representatives of key businesses in Cardiff and listen to a talk by Stephen Herring, Head of Taxation at the Institute of Directors (IoD).  I even faced and conquered the ever tricky task of waking up at 5.45am!

But, the most memorable thing that I will take away from the experience is that the working world, at least Petersens’ world, is not full of the doom and gloom that I feared of when I was younger. Being part of such a laid back environment where everyone contributes to ideas, projects and conversations is so reassuring to me as someone who is about to graduate and hopefully work for a company who has this same mantra. Most impressively, the people of Petersens actually care about each other and I am thankful to have worked with such people. I am now motivated to apply for jobs that I felt like I might not be considered for before my placement here.

To sum up, the last ten weeks has been a great experience with some great people, learning the ins and outs of a truly great company!

Katie GOur latest GO Wales student, Katie Griffiths, started a 10 week taster placement with us last week. Here’s how her first couple of days have gone…

Being in my last year of undergraduate study, a combination of excitement to be moving on to greater pastures and the pressure of thinking about my future has resulted in the inevitable; asking the question, ‘what next?’ Besides the rather tempting thoughts of taking time off to go travelling and ‘discover myself’, I got thinking about career paths I wanted to pursue. PR was at the top of my list. As a third year student studying Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University, I have only recently been able to scratch the surface of the PR profession through an optional module this year.  With this in mind and the constant reinforcement that work experience is just as, if not more important, than the classification you come out of university with; I was very keen to get some PR agency experience.

Although learning about the theoretical side of PR has been useful, it was mostly encouraging my urge to gain first had experience. Carrying out a work taster at Petersens is certainly satisfying that urge. When I was chosen by GoWales for the taster, who couldn’t have been more helpful as the in-between team, I was very excited by the prospect of working at Petersens. Considering the reputation and relations that they have built over the last years I was looking forward to being part of their team, discovering their inner workings and completing the day to day tasks they carry out to maintain such a reputation.

On arrival, I was greeted by Sally, who I was lucky enough to meet in her last week at Petersens. She introduced me to Susannah, Louise, Cath and Rob who welcomed me whole heartedly. The relaxed yet productive working environment is clearly what helps Petersens thrive in its field. On my first day I was immediately sorting press clippings, sitting in on briefings and looking over strategies and proposals. This was refreshing and actually useful for me to take away from the experience as opposed to completing trivial tasks. In my second week at Petersens the same remains true and I have been introduced to Eira who is equally as welcoming as the rest.

I now look forward to the coming weeks at Petersens and the opportunities, such as attending the Breakfast Club,  that it will provide.

Laura Brindley

Laura Brindley

Our latest GO Wales Taster student Laura has joined us for the summer. We invited her to write a blog to tell us a bit more about herself…

I’m half way into my summer after finishing my second year at University of Birmingham. I study International Relations and although I have hugely enjoyed the optional modules I have got to choose this year, I am well aware that my degree is far from “vocational”. As such I have been desperate to find some work experience this summer to give me some credibility amongst the masses of students.

I have always been drawn to the world of PR and marketing due to its multi-faceted and sociable nature.  On attaining a work taster with Petersens, I couldn’t have been happier. I know Petersens has an excellent reputation in South Wales so the chance to work for them was very exciting. I have to say I felt a huge wave of gratitude towards Go Wales for helping me obtain the placement and making the process so straight forward.

Having received such a warm welcome from the staff at Petersens I was immediately put at ease. Looking at Petersens, I can really see the benefits of a small company. There is a really friendly atmosphere and it is clear the relationships between co-workers are strong and as such the communication regarding work is optimum.  I can also see that staff understand the work of fellow workers and nothing is a mystery to them. I like how the small size of the company gives staff the opportunity to get involved on all levels of the work.

It is only midday on my first day at Petersens and I feel I have already gained a great insight into how PR and marketing companies work. I look forward to engaging with the many aspects of PR and marketing further!

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.

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.

I totally agree with Richard Houdmont’s piece in today’s Western Mail, in which he stresses the important of marketing during a recession. When ‘faced by slack demand and a lack of confidence in the future… the first target for cuts is often the marketing budget.’

In all my years in the marketing business, it is the companies that continue to invest in marketing and PR, and wisely even increase their marketing spend, reap the dividends when times improve.

Research gathered over the recession justifies these comments and I urge companies considering their budgets for next year to not put a red line through marketing and promotion!