Autumn 2012 Week 2: 24-28 September

The interns take you through their week, day by day…

Monday 24 September (Lola)
This afternoon’s session was spent conducting individual research into our chosen clients for Friday’s presentation. In looking at the previous campaigns of Edelman’s clients, we were able to gain some insight into the overall values and objectives of each brand, before coming together to brainstorm as a group. We assisted each other in developing our initial ideas in order to create one definitive concept.

We later headed to the Taylor Bennett offices for the foundation’s welcome drinks with the foundation’s alumni, Taylor Bennett staff and a select group of Edelman staff. Once at the event we were able to exercise and develop our networking skills, as well as receiving advice about how to make the best of our internship from previous interns. We also had the opportunity to gain some career tips from experienced professionals, who highlighted the ways in which we could make ourselves stand out from the crowd when completing job applications and at the interview stage.

Tuesday 25 September (Catherine)
Today was an exciting day. We spent the day with Unlimited Media’s Chris Cooke, the ultimate PR, comms and media guru. He took us through the different elements of the communications industry, from consumer to corporate to marketing communications, and together we explored how they interact with each other.

He informed us about emerging trends in this field, such as its increasingly integrated nature and the ways in which marketing and PR are becoming more interdisciplinary, especially in the digital age. We concluded by giving mini presentations on PR agencies we had been allocated the previous week, looking critically at how the core services provided by different agencies compare to how they PR themselves.

Wednesday 26 September am (Bolu)
On Wednesday we all headed down to Taylor Bennett for two talks.

The first was from Collette Mullings, who has a broad slew of expertise in Communications and marketing, one of her former roles being head of communications at KPMG! She got us to really look at brands, and focus on how important branding is. It is part of forming a culture, and without a culture or a brand which encapsulates what your company is about, there is no clear message with which to communicate to stakeholders.

We used Apple as a case study, and what was particularly interesting is that she really highlighted and made clear the difference between marketing and PR. Before this, I know for a fact that we were all were a bit murky on this point; we knew that they were distinct, but we were not exactly sure where the line was, and had many discussions between ourselves trying to distinguish it. This session was very helpful in light of this, and let us know that there may be times where we may have to draw on marketing, even if working for a PR agency.

Collette was great, and such an inspiration! The way she worked her way up the career ladder in such a short space of time was impressive, but also, as a person, she is very personable, engaging and funny. She spoke to us, and conversed with us, rather than lecturing us, and challenged us to apply what she was saying to practical scenarios.

Overall I learned a great deal, and we all left the talk feeling very inspired and in awe!

Wednesday 26th September pm (Chandni)
This afternoon we had our second talk of the day, this time from Anne Groves on internal communication.

Her career has been amazing! It turns out that internal comms involves a great deal more than I previously thought; Anne’s insight and information made me see a different side, and showed us how, without Internal Comms, a brand could never be successful: how could it, if their employees did not know what the brand was or what it stood for?

Anne gave us valuable information on the different ways we can communicate within an organisation, and how important it is that said communication happens. We were then given a task in groups, brainstorming different communication methods that we would use to bring a culture back into a company that had lost it.

In the evening, we headed down to Edelman for the Crisis Communication event hosted by Ignite. We all helped to make sure the event ran smoothly, helping with registration, greeting guests. It was an excellent chance to network and meet PR professionals. We had a presentation from a guest speaker from Blue Rubicon and the Head of Crisis Communications at Edelman, Scott Thomson. It was interesting to see how hands on and fast-paced you have to be for this side of PR. I definitely want to give it a go one day!

Today was a 9am – 9pm day… the beginning of a lot more long days in our PR career!

Thursday 27 September (Elmira)
This Thursday, while four of us got to take a trip to the PRCA for a spot of digital training, the other four of us were in the office playing catch up with all the work we had been given. This may sound boring, but in fact it was a blessing; our day in the office gave us ample time to complete our blogs, feedback forms, weekly newspaper reviews, PR week opinion piece and our weekly work for Edelman.

Thursday 27 September (Charlet)
Today, Nadia, Jasmine, Chandni and I visited the PRCA for a training day on digital strategies in reference to PR. The programme was led by Steve Dunn, the owner of two London based PR agencies. Steve was an amazing teacher; all four of us left feeling as though we could go and draft digital strategies for the biggest and best PR companies!

During the morning we learnt all the possible techniques that could be used and how they could be used. This prepared us for the afternoon session, during which we were required to draft strategies for fictional scenarios. Upon completing the day, we received certificates, and 40 points towards our PRCA qualification.

Friday 28 September am (Jasmin)
This morning I arrived at Edelman at 8.30am. The previous week we had been notified of Edelman’s free breakfast before 10am on a Friday, and some of us went along early for some tea and toast.

Our session today was led by Lucy Davies, senior account manager, who focused on ‘transmedia storytelling’. We looked at the media landscape, how it has evolved and what impact the changes have had on brands, and specifically on some of Edelman’s clients. Lucy went on to discuss the ‘media cloverleaf’ which is Edelman’s way of thinking around the aforementioned landscape, and we were shown how to consider all types of media and the rules of engagement when working for a client.

At the end of the session we were given our challenge for the following Friday. We have to pick a brand we admire, and identify how it has infiltrated the media, the stories that have been used, and on which channels, as well as how successful we believe the brand has been. Lucy really settled our nerves and reminded us that our challenge should be fun… hopefully we will all feel a lot more comfortable and confident presenting at Edelman next Friday!

Friday 28th September pm (Nadia)
This afternoon at Edelman was spent with our teams, which was great as this is the first time we have properly had the time to sit at our desk, acquaint ourselves with our colleagues and get involved.

Following the brainstorming session I went to in the morning, I was asked to do some research, to see which of the ideas that were proposed were feasible, and if they had already been done or not. I promptly got to work; I really enjoyed the task and the brainstorming, it has been fascinating to see how ideas are generated, then turned into solid plans.