Over the summer between 2nd and 3rd year, Solent PR students carried out 2 work placements to gain much needed industry experience. Whilst some students knew what sector they want to work in after graudating, some took these placements as the time to work out which sector appeals to them most. In this post, I speak to Shaynae Walcott about her experiences…
“At my first placement, in Legal PR, I learnt a lot – I was given a range of things to do i.e. writing press releases and reports, creating media list via Cision Point (which is a software used by PR’s to get contact details of journalists), doing numerous of research for clients, writing holding statements, writing appraisals for clients, reading past releases, reports and inquests case notes and editing feature articles.
Whilst working there I really felt that I met some of the objectives that I set before I started the placement. For example, improving my attendance and punctuality (I attended every day of my placement and I was not late on my own accord, I was late twice due to delays via the trains), growing more confidence in my writing (Although I think I am a confident writer I wanted to learn how to structure a p.release and report better, quicken the speed pace/speed whilst writing etc.)
There was not much that I didn’t like about my placement. The only thing that I can think of right now is that I would have liked to have more contact with the clients (client relations) and speaking with journalists. The more confident you are speaking with a clients and journalists the more prepared you will be when getting your first job.
I also managed to continue working for my placement which I start in October as a part-time job. (Woo – well done, Shay!)
I am currently at my second placement, in Corporate/Professional Services PR, and I am here for two weeks. It’s completely different from my first placement: much more corporate, very busy environment and a lot to learn which has been an insightful experience so far. It took a few days to get to know the team but they are really friendly and made me feel part of the team.
So far I have learnt how to use Microsoft Excel, how to use Gorkana (another software used by PR’s to get contact details of journalists), writing newsletters, press releases, research- scanning PDF documents for keywords – compiling media lists using Gorkana, sending bylined articles and press releases to journalists, using Twitter and LinkedIn etc.
In terms of what I need to improve on, I thought I was a strong communicator but I soon realised that my heart would race and my stomach would churn if I thought I had to communicate with any clients or speak to any journalists!
What I have discovered over this summer is that I have a lot to learn about the professional sector, however I really enjoy Legal PR/Litigation PR!”
Thank you, Shay, and many congratulations on the job!
Solent PR Editor