Introducing Josh to the world of PR

Sixth Form student Josh McKinnon was introduced to the world of PR during a week at Advent Communications. He blogs on his time for us…

No more than an hour into my placement at Advent Communications, I was whisked off to a photo shoot at the Ricoh Arena with freelance photographer Richard Nelmes where we met Advent clients Engage!

What greeted me there was a tag rugby festival with teams from all around the world and from local Coventry schools. It was odd being on the other side of that student-official barrier as, dressed in my shirt and tie, I was suddenly one of those fabled people who was ‘in the know’ at such events. Considering I am still in school and have been to similar events in the past as a student, this was a very surreal experience.

From there I was run back over to Advent where I proceeded to transcribe an interview. However, I soon realised that understanding what was said was one thing, but actually transcribing that down word for word was a different and entirely much more difficult task all together.

After I’d finally finished my transcription, I tried my hand at a profile feature.

This was a much more difficult task than I had first anticipated as the writing style differed greatly from anything I was used to. It was a real eye opener to how much work and effort goes into each piece as my attempt at a first draft paled in comparison to the finely tuned, flowing articles that the team at Advent is used to producing on a regular basis.

After I had attempted a profile feature, I was then introduced to my very first press release. Again, this was a bit of a system shock as it was another different style of writing entirely. However, under the guidance of senior account manager Michelle Wilson, I tackled my first press release.

Although not as successful as I would have liked, by the second draft I felt fairly confident in my ability to attempt this new style of writing so I kicked off the next day with two more press release drafts for local clients.

After this I proceeded to do some research for an interview which I would be tagging along with on the next day. To me it was similar to how you’d research the context of a book before writing an essay on it and, considering I am currently studying English Literature at A level, this is something I had done on a regular basis and thus felt comfortable with.

Soon Thursday reared its head, however, there was a darkness on the horizon. The mandatory tea round which I had managed to avoid all week finally graced me with its presence and I set about the task of quenching the thirst of all the office workers. Although it took me slightly longer than average, I got the task done and got back to work.

My next task was another press release which I cracked off in time to attend an interview with senior account manager Pete Squires. With my trusty research notes I’d collected the day before, I felt well and truly prepared for the interview and everything went off without a hitch, with me even adding a couple of questions myself.

My fifth and final day at Advent saw me transcribing the previous day’s interview and the completion of my blog of the week’s events.

I’ve had a great week at Advent and would like to say thank you to the whole team for being so welcoming and always finding tasks for me to do. If I ever get asked about public relations in the future, I’ll definitely recommend Advent Communications.

Josh McKinnon

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