Five reasons why doing work experience in a PR agency is a great idea

Like many other people graduating from University I found myself struggling to find gainful employment because, as I was told, repeatedly, in rejection emails (when I was lucky enough to be sent a reply at all) I had no relevant experience. At first this made me despondent, I had two degrees from a high ranking Russell Group university, and felt like I should be able to find work. However, as the rejections continued to flood in, I decided to apply for work experience, which it turns out was one of the best things I could have done. So today I’m going to share with you Five Reasons Why Doing Work Experience in a PR Agency is a Great Idea.

Ellen has five great tips

1. You learn new skills.
In the 4 short weeks that I have been working at The View, I feel like I have learned so many new skills, from how to use Media databases like Gorkana, to tips on media sell-ins and capturing news coverage. There are so many different strands which make up the work which companies like The View do, that I found I was doing different jobs every day, and learning all the time. The great thing about working in a small, and (thankfully!) jargon-free, office, has been that everyone has been really keen to tailor my experience to what I want to do, and also help me to learn and master certain basic skills.

2. You get to use the skills you gained elsewhere.
I’ve found that, despite all the mocking, my English degree is actually very useful (take that ‘hilarious’ relatives!) After five years of university, I like to think of my research skills as finely honed, and it’s nice that they are being given a new lease of life. Writing up précises of my reading feels comfortingly like the one-page reading responses of my university days. Finally,   writing and editing press releases, and emails means I’m writing again, and like my supervisor at uni, the commercial world appreciates succinct writing, so my editing skills are back!

3. You start looking at your CV in a whole new way.
This links in to the previous point quite strongly, but actually being on the ground as it were, getting a flavour of what it is to do PR work, actually allows you an insight to what those recruiting are looking for. Knowing what the day-to-day workings of a PR office looks like has made me think about how I structure my CV and what skills I need to showcase to potential employers. I think, along with most recent graduates, I’m not very familiar with what I’ve always looked at as “the real world” wants, so being out there and experiencing it first hand, really helps.

4. You can start to work on a portfolio of your work.
At  smaller agencies, like The View, everyone gets stuck into all the tasks, which means that, even after just a month, I can list a number of places where I have gotten material into press and publications, I have written press releases, and have helped create a pitch. The View is remarkably busy and works on really exciting and creative projects, resulting in the chance for me to take part in some really interesting activities, and complete work for some unusual clients.

5. The refreshments are ruddy fantastic.
I’m fairly certain this is universal across all PR firms, and is definitely one of the reasons I’m hanging around the office. From nearly the minute I started at The View there has been a near constant flow of tea, and despite all the warnings, I have not been the main tea-maker – everyone pitches in. Aside from the almost startling array of teas and herbal infusions I have also been offered cookies, and several enormous and very delicious cupcakes, which I have instagrammed with glee. Indeed as I write this I have been presented with a bag of popcorn. Yum.

In short, every job seeker should do some work experience, it’s a great opportunity which I’m very thankful for, and I am so grateful to everyone at The View for having me, and making me feel so welcome, I’ve really enjoyed being part of the team.

By Ellen Whitehead