Entering the world of PR – what I now know

Entering the world of PR has been a complete eye-opener. Having started at MK Things Happen as an intern, I was able to see first-hand how the industry really works, rather than from the dusty textbooks that my University course had provided me; nothing quite compares to being a part of the everyday fast-paced action.

Since I joined I have had the pleasure of working with a truly diverse range of clients – the first of which was Sheffield City Council on their ‘Off for the Shelf Festival of Words’. Not only did this provide me with some pretty exciting opportunities – such as meeting this year’s guest curator Jackie Kay which, as a bookworm myself was the highlight of my year – I also learnt the ropes for managing the events and press office for the account.

I have been introduced to the importance of media lists, developing contacts and making sure that the right messages are reaching the right people in the right way at the right time. Phone calls, emails, meetings, tweeting, Facebook posts – it was non-stop, but it was exciting. This was my first taste of PR and I wanted more.

I am now getting my teeth into another of MK’s accounts – one of the UK’s largest shopping centres, Meadowhall. Growing up in Sheffield it was my favourite shopping destination, but actually being involved in planning some of the biggest events in the region was something I never imagined I’d get the opportunity to do.

The Meadowhall account is fast-paced and with the Christmas season on the horizon, it’s getting even busier! The team put lots of hard work in to make sure that everyone that visits the centre over the Christmas period will feel the Christmas cheer and leave with a smile on their face, with plans of returning.

In PR I have realised that it is definitely a case of what you put into it – you will get back out. All our hard work paid off when we made the front page splash on The Star the day following the Light Switch On. We also got much more coverage online and in other regional publications and seeing this come through has really brought home how great it was to have been a part of it. It was a brilliant feeling to see our hard work reap so many rewards and the pride in showcasing this work to the client was really rewarding.

It’s not just all about coverage anymore, however, with social media a key element of what we do!

Social media is so much more than just Facebook and Twitter, and its overall power is incredible. It is a really key tool for many of our clients, and when used correctly it stimulates a lot of positive activity and gets people talking.

Each day I am learning more. Whether it is how to use social media better, how to improve my writing or how to network with others in the industry – each day holds another golden nugget of information. There is so much more to PR than I ever realised or was taught – it’s not just about press releases; it’s also about networking, listening and delivering.