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Working at a Manchester PR agency: A Graduate's Experience

Posted by Nilakshi Sep 3, 2013 3:37:41 PM

Topics: copywriting, online advertising, blogging, website design

During the last few months of completing my PR and Media degree, with my student days coming to an end, I was anxious to step into the working world and begin my prestigious PR career.

Little did I know, my lack of experience and the fact that I had and no placement year meant my chances of getting a job straight away like I thought were zero! Despite turning up to numerous primary and secondary interviews - a year after graduating I was still jobless.

That's when I put the applications on hold and began applying for work experience - eventually securing a placement at Roland Dransfield. It's been a great few weeks working at this prestigious Manchester PR Agency and I've learned loads. I've been asked to share my experiences, so in this post I'll take you through the difference between PR theory and practice and hopefully give my fellow graduates a taste of what's in store for them.

Working at a Manchester PR AgencyFoot in the Door

My degree involved constantly reading theory over and over. I learned the basics of PR such as writing press releases, press conference scripting, campaign planning, CSR (corporate social responsibility) issues, crisis management and ethics. Although these are ground-level basics of what is involved in the discipline, I always questioned whether all of this would be put into practice when I eventually got my dream PR role.

In a far cry from applying the theories of Cutlip and Berneys, just some of the tasks I was put on during my time at Roland Dransfield included:

    • Researching media platforms, publications and freelance journalists

    • Contacting the above in regard to press releases

    • Contacting various media platforms about advertising and sponsorship ideas in the run-up to Christmas

    • Composing press releases and identifying then distributing these to target publications

    • Social media management for clients

    • Attending client-facing and new business meetings

    • Composing e-shots and online newsletters

Working at a Manchester PR agency has been really rewardingHow PR theory compares to PR practice

During my time at Roland Dransfield PR, I've learned that lecturers definitely overemphasise how much theory you'll be using on a day-to-day basis. While learning to write press releases and getting to grips with the basics will set you in good stead, theory - while good to know - won't necessarily be something you're called upon to utilise often during the course of your work.

Similarly, while the skills being taught in further education are catching up to those that you'll need in the real world, I'd urge those on courses like mine to pay close attention to digital stuff like social media and blogging, as these will be must-haves for prospective PR execs in the coming years. It's also a good idea to get a firm grounding in writing, as having the proven ability to create quality copy for a range purposes is an essential attribute that'll put you head and shoulders above the competition.

Thank Yous!

I'm really grateful to be given this opportunity and the team at RDPR have gone out of their way to ensure I've been engaged in varied tasks and meetings whenever possible. I've not only gained experience, but valuable insight into what working for a PR agency in Manchester is really like. So thank-yous all round!

And if you want to learn more about how PR and media relations are implemented in practice, get in touch with RDPR today!


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