Autumn 2012 Week 3: 1-5 October

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

Monday 1 October (Nadia)
Arriving back at the offices after the weekend, we had an hour or so to check emails, write up our newspaper review for the day, and prepare our presentations for Friday. We then had a session Sarah Stimson on how to write a CV. This was extremely useful, and gave me the impetus I needed to tear up the old one I have had since school and been adding to ever since, and to create new one with useful tips and guidance from Sarah.

In the afternoon we went to meet Chantal Tregear for a talk on interview etiquette. She took us through how to prepare for interviews, from what we should wear, to how we should behave, to questions to ask. At the end Chantal invited us all to stand up one by one; as she left the room and re-entered, we had to shake her hand and introduce ourselves. Chantal then gave us feedback on our handshake. This exercise proved very helpful, and the feedback was insightful.

Tuesday 2 October (Charlet)
Tuesday morning, which meant a day of soaking up all of Chris Cooke’s media knowledge. From 9.30-11.00am we have a free session to catch up on blog posts, feedback forms, media monitoring and our assignment from Edelman. This week, it is literally the only free time we have, so everyone was silent and hard at work.

Around 11.00am our lesson on the British media commenced. Today we learned about a variety of national papers: their political stance, history, owners and content. After lunch we presented findings on the newspapers we were assigned last week. Every Tuesday we gain more and more media knowledge.

Wednesday 3 October (Catherine + Lola)
Wednesday was an exhilarating day, as we were to meet Heather McGregor, the founder of the Taylor Bennett Foundation programme. We were all nervous at the thought of being in the presence of such a phenomenal force, the reason the Taylor Bennett Foundation programme exists; we were also full of gratitude and keen to impress and to learn!

Upon arrival at Taylor Bennett, we were set a challenge: to research Heather’s history, and present the fruits of that research to her, gathering the relevant facts by talking to her colleagues rather than just using the internet. By setting this task she stressed for us the importance of double checking sources before relaying information as facts in any presentation or written piece of work. We then repeated this task, but with one of our group members as the topic of the presentation, using Heather’s previous feedback to improve our approaches.

Towards the end of the session, Heather told that she believes that human capital and social capital are equally important factors within the industry, and therefore provided us with invaluable networking and careers advice to assist us in successfully entering a career in PR.

Thursday 4 October am (Chandni)
Today, we visited the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), and it didn’t take anywhere near as long as we expected to get to Stratford-upon-Avon. On arrival, we were greeted by Liz Thompson, who was really nice, and first took us on a tour of the theatre – the full VIP treatment!

After seeing everything from the inside to the outside of the theatre, we got to meet the RSC Communications and marketing team, who talked to us about who they were, and what their roles consisted of; it gave us a really good insight into arts and theatre PR. We were also given the opportunity to ask for career advice and tips on how to further ourselves which was really helpful.

Thursday 4 October  pm (Bolu)
This afternoon, as part of our visit to the Royal Shakespeare Company, we were privileged to see their wonderful production of ‘The Tempest’. The play itself was a brilliant mid-week treat for us all, of course, but was also a nice way to round off the enlightening meeting we had with the RSC comms team earlier in the day.

Seeing the play reminded me how so many people don’t experience such brilliance, as they aren’t able see the work of such companies as the Royal Shakespeare Company as a form of entertainment; such art-forms are dismissed as stiff and boring, when they are nothing of the sort… Shakespeare is full of humanity, humour, drama and emotion, and these things will always remain relevant. This visit therefore emphasised the importance of arts PR, and how it is needed to help shape and change how people perceive the theatre, particularly those of my own generation.

Overall, the day was educational, both from a PR perspective and a cultural perspective, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Friday 5 October am (Elmira)
On Friday morning, all the interns headed for the Edelman offices. In the morning we had a session with Lucy about the dos and don’ts of writing a press release. Many of us had never had the experience of writing one (myself included) and this gave us the chance to see how businesses such as Edelman write theirs.

We also completed a few tasks relating to press releases written by Edelman for their clients. This was also a useful exercise, as it gave us some hands-on experience, and made us think about what goes into a press release, the writing of which is a task we have to complete by next week.

Friday 5 October pm (Jasmin)
This afternoon, we did our second set of presentations at Edelman with Lucy Davies (Senior Account Manager). The challenge, as handed to us last week, was to pick a brand we admire and identify their transmedia storytelling. When she set this task, Lucy had reminded us that the presentation should be fun and we all kept this in mind!

These were also our first presentations since Sarah Stimson – course director at the Taylor Bennett Foundation – held our presentation workshop, and we all took the opportunity to exercise the skills gleaned in that session, and made our presentations as visual and interesting as possible!

After delivering our presentations, we returned to our desks at Edelman, and spent the remaining hour finishing off our weekly assignments. We left the office in search of a well-earned glass of wine, thankful it was the weekend so we could rest our heavy eyes!