2022 Summer Stars Internship Programme and Bootcamp - The Recap

This year we saw the return of our in-person Summer Stars bootcamp after a two year hiatus because of Covid-19. Hosted at the London College of Communication, the three-day bootcamp provided our incredibly talented pool of school leavers, undergraduates and graduates who have secured or were in the process of securing an internship opportunity within the PR & Communications industry the chance to come together for an immersive experience where they were able to gain an insight into the wealth of opportunities the industry has to offer.

Across the three-day bootcamp we were pleased to have 14 organisations host masterclasses this year. Speakers included Red Consultancy, Greenhouse, freuds and Cancer Research, who also offered internship placements alongside John Lehal, Sarah Pinch and Brunswick Group, who are masterclass regulars for our bootcamp!

To kick off the bootcamp, day one started with Fashion PR agency DH-PR exploring the practice of PR (covering areas such media relations, creative strategy and branding to name a few!) and the opportunities available within different sectors and areas of business. Gareth Thompson from the London College of Communication continued with a masterclass on the History of PR and business adviser John Lehal provided an in-depth overview of public affairs and our UK political system. From this, our interns received a breakdown of how to affect political change through lobbying campaigns before attending a panel session with previous Summer Stars alumni.  Sharing what life has been like for them since participating in the Summer Stars internship programme, the panel session provided the incoming interns with the opportunity to ask questions about making the most of their experiences and learn more about how the Summer Stars programme has impacted their careers within communications.

To bring the day to a close, freuds delivered an engaging introduction to crisis management. Providing an insight into the key principles for crisis handling and grading a crisis, the session allowed the incoming interns to review case studies from the press and bring these crisis principles to life.

Day two started off with award-winning agency Stripe Communications hosting a masterclass on crafting your creativity. Noting that like any skill, creativity can be learnt, our interns learnt different techniques to help embrace their creative thinking and how it can be applied to campaign brainstorming. Our interns then received an insight into the ‘a day in the life of a PR practitioner’ with PHA Group. Learning all about what a PR practitioner really does, our interns got to learn all of the key jargon and tasks they would be required to do when pursuing their own careers (pitching, building relationships with journalists). Our next masterclass from Harvard showed that career paths aren’t always a straight line but instead, they are often ‘squiggly with people taking new roles or responsibilities, moving into new areas, industries or countries’. Hosted by Board Director, Ben Roberts, this panel session allowed the interns to hear from some of the team at Harvard on how they drove their own careers forward and provided a fresh perspective on taking yourself out of your own comfort zone.

International B2B Tech PR & Marketing consultancy, CCgroup kicked off our annual tech afternoon with an informative masterclass on B2B Tech. Hosted by CCgroup CEO, Richard Fogg and TBF alumni, Nabila Mahmood, the session covered their careers within the industry. Senior Consultant, Shamima Percecous from Tyto PR continued the topic of B2B Tech by showcasing how to tell B2B stories and what PR means in a post-covid world. To wrap up the day, our interns had the chance to explore a career in clean energy & tech PR with Greenhouse Communications. Focusing on how communications can help to change the world for the better, the team at Greenhouse discuss how communications and digital can help with the journey to net-zero.

To wrap up our final day of the bootcamp, Managing Director of Pinchpoint Communications and Chair of Trustees for the Taylor Bennett Foundation, Sarah Pinch delved into what the last two years have taught us about communications, engagement and each other. A reflective session for our interns, this masterclass looked at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on how we communicate, engage and undertake effective and meaningful engagement. Next, we gained an insight into corporate communications within the third sector with Cancer Research UK. Providing our interns with tips on how to land a role in corporate communications to reputation management, the session showcased the variety of work in the sector. To finalise the bootcamp our last two sessions involved Red Consultancy delivering a fascinating masterclass on newsjacking. Covering how to use the current news agenda to get clients into the national conversations, the interactive workshop helped our interns generate their own ideas for a news hijack. To close the bootcamp, Brunswick Group demystified what a career in Financial PR truly entails and discussed with our interns why organisations need, why it is important and why it can make for an interesting and varied career.

The Summer Stars Bootcamp delivered what we aimed to set out for it to do - engage our incoming interns, inform them about the breadth of opportunities and sectors within the industry and equip our interns with the foundation to begin their internships confidently. With the transitions into hybrid working and the changes we have experienced, we are proud to deliver another successful bootcamp in person.

If you are interested in learning more about how your organisation could host an intern in next year’s programme or would like to learn more about hosting a masterclass in the 2023 Summer Stars Bootcamp, please reach out to us at [email protected].

By Gabrielle Thuesday and Nicole Yumpia