We sent our intern, Katy Roberts, currently studying PR at Sheffield Hallam Uni, to the PR Show 2013. Finally, (after handing in her dissertation) here’s her take on the trade show’s inaugural run as a fledgling PR professional:
The first event of its kind for the UK public relations sector, The Public Relations Show was held on the 26th November 2013 at the Business Design Centre in London. The show brought together over 1,000 PR practitioners to share the latest tips and trends currently happening within the industry and was seen as something of a milestone, as an event like this has never taken place before, and yet shows that the PR industry is growing and that the demand for an event such as this is clearly there.
This was particularly exciting for my fellow course-mates and I, because, as fledgling practitioners ourselves, we were excited to have the chance to network with experienced PR professionals and experience the wide range of different areas that the public relations industry has to offer.
The event was hugely popular and the atmosphere was both exciting and slightly overwhelming. Surrounded by various stalls from a range of PR agencies and suppliers, I didn’t really know where to start! The conference was really useful for harnessing my networking skills, chucking me in at the deep end.
Once I’d gotten into the swing of things, I felt a lot more confident. I found myself engaging in conversations with senior PR professionals, and I picked up loads of really useful tips about being a fledgling PR professional, almost ready to go out into the industry. I also learnt about a wide range of different services that the PR industry uses, such as media monitoring and social media management and their importance within the world of PR. I’d heard of some of these, such as Gorkana, but the conference really helped open my eyes to just how broad the PR industry is.
A really great aspect of the PR Show was the wide range of really interesting talks, from a number of leading practitioners and PR agencies about a huge range of different topics. Some of the leading speakers included people such as Alan Aiken, the Executive Director of Communications for the UK government, Peter Bowles, the Creative MD at Dynamo PR and Rob Cartwright, the Global Corporate Practice Director at Ketchum PR.
The talks themselves ranged from “Aligning PR with corporate strategy”, held by Alistair Smith, the managing director of corporate communications for the Barclays group, to “How technology is changing internal communication” held by Malcolm Cotterell and Kate Barnes, Development and Engagement Manager and Employee Engagement Advisor, respectively, at CrossCountry Trains.
Other talks focused on the challenges of healthcare PR, successful creative campaigning on a low budget and quantifying success by monitoring social media measurement, to name but a few. I feel like the talks on creative campaigning on a low budget and on social media management would have been especially useful for a fledgling practitioner like myself just starting out in the industry.
My only wish is that some of these talks were made more accessible for students of the PR industry, maybe by providing a season ticket or concession rate for some talks would have been incredibly useful. There is also far more scope for engaging students, break out sessions or fringe events covering topics such as graduate schemes, professional membership and talks from specific PR areas, would be widely welcomed.
All in all, I really enjoyed the day – it was incredibly interesting and provided me with a useful insight into the industry that I’d not had before. Did you attend the PR Show 2013? What did you think?
It’s no secret that the graduate job market is tough. There are so many stories about graduates who still haven’t found a job eighteen months after graduating. Of course, there are exceptions, but for the majority of us due to graduate next summer (myself included), the job market’s not a particularly pretty picture at the moment. So what can you do to make yourself stand out?
The most obvious answer is to get a work placement or an internship in the field you want to work in. According to a report by highfliers.co.uk, 36% of graduate jobs will be filled by applicants who have already worked for an organisation as an undergraduate – which is great news! Getting a fantastic work placement is a really good way to see for yourself what working in that particular field would be like, as well as providing you with valuable skills that will look impressive to an employer.
Here are 3 tips when it comes to work placements:
- Do your research – think seriously about what sort of places you’d like to work at once you’ve graduated – don’t just do placements for the sake of it
- Persevere – don’t give up looking just because some places turned you down
- Be willing – don’t be snobbish about the jobs you’re given. Yes, you might have to do some filing and yes, it might be a bit dull, but chances are, if you’ve found somewhere good, it’ll only be a ten minute job then you can move onto the next thing. Refusing to do tasks because you feel they are beneath you is rude, and a sure-fire way to destroy any rapport you previously had with that company
But wait a second, having an internship under your belt is all well and good, but in today’s competitive job markets, internships and work placements are becoming staple features on nearly every graduate’s CV.
So what else can you do to stand out?
Here are five of my favourite quirky stories about people who have gone that little bit extra to secure that all-important interview!
1) Buy a billboard.
24 year old Adam Pacitti, from the Isle of Wight, became so desperate for a job that he spent his last £500 on a billboard asking employers for work. He ended up getting around sixty solid job offers and ended up with a job at KEO Digital working as a viral producer.
2) Get creative with your CV.
On his LinkedIn profile, Eric Ghandi mocked up his CV to look like a Google search engine results page. An employee at Google spotted it and immediately recommended Eric for interview. It’s not clear if that interview resulted in a job, but it’s a great way of showing what getting creative with your CV can do.
3) Use a Google ad.
Alec Brownstein wanted a job at a top ad agency, and he figured that if you’re the director of an ad agency, you’re probably going to Google yourself every now and then to see what people are saying about you. So, in order to do this, Alec launched the Google Ad Experiment, which you can watch below.
4) Interactive Video.
When applying for a job at a social media agency, you’re probably going to have to get a bit more creative than just sending in a standard CV. And that’s exactly what Graeme Anthony did when applying for a role at We Are Social. Instead of sending in the normal cover letter and CV, he created an interactive video with YouTube annotations to encourage potential employers to find out more about him. You can find out what We Are Social had to say about it here, and watch the video below.
5) Learn to handle rejection.
Chances are, before you land that dream job, you’re going to be turned down by a few companies, which is what happened to Caleb Meakins. So he set up his My 40 Days of Rejection project, which involves him taking on challenges that are deemed to be entirely unachievable and socially awkward – such as getting onto the red carpet at the premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and giving a lecture at King’s College London. Caleb hopes that by doing things that take him outside his comfort zone, he will learn to reshape the way he responds to failure.
So there you have it, some great ways to get creative when heading out into the graduate job market!
Amy, who interned with us last month, has written a great post about her time here at Twelve (couldn’t have written it better ourselves!) and reflects on what work experience means to fledgling PRs. You can also read her last guest post here – Instagram vs Vine: Battle of the movie clip
Thanks for your help Amy!
My July was spent riding for forty minutes everyday through the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside as I cycled to work at Twelve PR. Somehow I only fell off once, only hit one pedestrian and got rained on only once. I reckon those are pretty good odds!
Other statistics include: 19 coffees ordered through the office window, 11 phonecalls with some of Twelve’s amazing beekeepers and 16 Twelve tweets.
Having already spent sometime interning at PR companies I thought I knew what to expect from a month’s internship. It turned out that at Twelve everything was very different; I didn’t spend all day and everyday doing tea rounds or sorting the mail.
Instead I wrote press releases, feature articles and drafted newsletters and reports. The group at Twelve gave me more responsibility as an intern than other agencies give to their actual employees. From my point of view it worked, and hopefully…
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We have proud gardeners in our midst at Twelve (see there’s more to us than digital fanatics) and we thought we’d give the South Newington Flower and Produce Show (hailed as the ‘loveliest traditional flower show in the area’) a bit of a shout out! Coming up this weekend, it’s sure to be a great event. So should you be casually swinging by the area, do stop by for some summer lovin’ country style.
SHOWTIME AT SOUTH NEWINGTON
Annual Flower and Produce Show takes place this weekend
The annual South Newington Flower and Produce Show will take place at 2pm this Saturday 10 August on The Poleaxe at the centre of the village.
This much loved annual event will be opened by Sir Tony Baldry, MP, and the Show marquee will present some 600 entries spanning flower displays, fruit and vegetables, preserves, cookery, photography and other crafts. Sir Tony will also present prizes.
As well as the exhibits there will be a dog show, children’s games, stalls and sideshows; plus music from the ever popular Chipping Norton Silver Band and a traditional afternoon tea tent.
A new addition this year will be a display of ‘village wedding dresses’ in the historic village church, St Peter ad Vincula.
Field parking is available at the top of the village entering from the A361 onto Barford Road.