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Career stories

How I started a new career and won the Intern of the Year award in just three months 

by Mara Antoce

My 3-month internship with PLMR was the perfect introduction to communications and consultancy.  

Being a recent politics graduate with a passion for current affairs, working in a Westminster agency appealed to me from the start. Before joining PLMR, I worked in rehabilitation at a young offenders institute, which gave me the opportunity to learn how to effectively communicate and engage with some of the most vulnerable and challenging members of our society. 

I knew that I wanted to draw on these communication skills in my future career, and the campaigns that PLMR designs, which often have a social purpose at their core, really stood out to me. Moreover, I had always wanted to work for a company whose values align with my own, and this is certainly the case at PLMR. 

Joining the Corporate Communications and PR team, I was given the opportunity to work for a wide range of clients, including charities, a fintech platform, professional services organisations, and care providers. Each client, and their communications activities, were unique – making every day different. It was a steep learning curve, but I was supported by my colleagues who would always be on hand to provide advice. They encouraged me to use my initiative, be proactive and work independently.  

As my internship progressed, I certainly developed my communication skills. I learnt how to write engaging press releases and opinion-pieces, how to confidently sell-in to journalists, and how to develop relationships with the media. I have built on my research skills and can confidently advise on who are the best professionals, politicians, or civil servants for our clients to engage with and how to approach them. To learn more about the different types of communications, I also got the chance to spend one day per week in each of PLMR’s teams, which gave me a real insight into clients I don’t normally work with and helped me better understand my colleagues’ work.  

The internship was highly rewarding as I was given significant responsibilities which meant that I could take credit for big and small wins – from placing an article in trade media to securing national newspaper coverage.  

One of my proudest achievements has been securing four pieces of national coverage in my first month, including the Mail Online, The Guardian, New York Times, and The Economist, for my client Tulipshare – a fintech platform that fights for change at some of the biggest companies’ AGMs. To achieve this, I drew on the relationships I cultivated with strategically significant journalists and worked together with the rest of the team to come up with creative angles for press releases that could capture the interest of journalists, consumers, and investors alike.  

Another significant win has been securing more than 60 pieces of coverage for the Major Trauma Group, by utilising FOI data from NHS Ambulance Trusts regarding e-scooter accidents. I was responsible for analysing and distilling a heavy information load from the FOI data requests to uncover a newsworthy PR angle to turn a frequently heard story into a fresh, new piece.  This proved really successful, and I helped the team deliver an exciting result that the client was extremely pleased with.  

One of my favourite things about my time at PLMR has been getting to know and learn from my colleagues – and the socials have certainly helped. From all staff-events to after-work socials, it has been great being part of a company with a friendly, inclusive, and engaging culture. One of the socials I enjoyed most was going to play ping pong at Bounce after work. Our London colleagues were joined by two German consultants, who were with us for two weeks on secondment from a sister agency in Germany – highlighting the truly global reach of PLMR.  

At the end of my internship, I was offered a permanent role as an Account Executive, and I am looking forward to building on the experience I have gained and become an outstanding consultant. As a result of my accomplishments I was also won the PRCA’s ‘Best Intern’ Award, which I am really proud and happy about as it is a recognition of all my work and a great start to my career in communications.  

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PLMR’s crisis communications experience is second to none, and includes pre-emptive and reactive work across traditional and social media channels. We work with a range of organisations to offer critical communication support when they are faced with difficult and challenging scenarios.

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