The Masters phase is awkward – you’ve (almost) grown out of student life but you’re not termed a young professional just quite yet. I’m currently doing an MA in Public Relations at BCU and although I can’t say I was born with an innate passion for PR, working in the media industry – broadly speaking – has been of interest to me since high school. After an opportunity to interview Tara for a university assignment, I jumped at the chance to do a two-week placement at EAST VILLAGE.
During my time at EV, I learnt about some of the basics of PR including writing press releases, creating media lists, influencer research, social media scheduling and more. You often hear PR professionals say that no two days are the same; after my time as an intern, I can vouch for this.
First and foremost, being at a small PR agency gave me a broader insight into the overall process and more importantly, the different elements that come into play when devising and implementing campaigns. As a result, I got to assist with a range of things every day. In my first week, I was tasked with writing a press release for the Centrick property group and a press profile on a former Oxbridge student. Though at university we are taught about press releases and media relations in theory, it wasn’t until my time at EAST VILLAGE. that I was able to apply knowledge into practice. Having been given templates to follow and examples to read, I was able to better understand what makes an effective press release.
Following on from that, I was shown how to use the key media databases – Gorkana and Vuelio – to create press lists for specific sectors such as drinks, gaming and property. Admittedly, there was a lot of information to sift through to begin with, but halfway through my first list for Birmingham Wine Weekend, I was confident enough with the software that I went on to compile contacts for the gaming and property industries too. The variety of clients that EV manages meant learning about industries that I previously had little knowledge of, which made my experience all the more beneficial.
Social media being a key part of generating brand awareness is a given. Working with the Social Media Executive, I had the opportunity to assist at photoshoots for social media content at both Wok to Walk and Hotel du Vin. Both occasions gave me a snapshot of what goes on behind the scenes in regard to content creation. I was also shown the different tools and platforms used for social media scheduling; namely, Airtable, Sked, Mailchimp and Bitlink. If there’s anything I took away from what social media management involves, planning is key.
Setting work aside, the EV. office is full of personality and very on brand. The team were welcoming, ready to help and fun! One of the main things I learned from my time at EV. is that while securing clients and having the practical skills is important, having a close-knit team makes all the difference.