Pro-bono training programme gives expert insight into the world of PR and marketing for charity

Marketing Executive Melanie Zeqo from Suffolk charity Genesis Orwell Mencap received free training with PLMR Genesis as part of our commitment to support the local community with pro-bono activities.

Last year I joined the charity Genesis Orwell Mencap as a marketing executive, promoting the work they do to support adults and young people with physical and learning disabilities. Every day was a learning curve with new challenges arising.

To help support my learning and development, I was privileged to be invited onto a graduate training programme delivered pro-bono by PLMR Genesis – an integrated PR and marketing agency with an amazing reputation for delivering impeccable PR to a variety of clients.

Open and curious

I joined the programme alongside two of PLMR Genesis’ graduate account executives and was welcomed onto the programme as if I were another member of the team. Each session was led by a different member of staff at the agency, which meant I had access to expert insights of those that have had years of expertise and experience.

Despite not being a member of staff at PLMR Genesis myself, I still was made to feel as part of this community and my ideas and questions were taken just as seriously as permanent staff members. The atmosphere during the sessions were open, curious and to a high professional standard which made for the best learning experience possible.

The training I received through this programme was incredibly diverse and varied. From crisis management to PPC training, no stone was left unturned. But there were highlights in my experience during this graduate training programme that have made a big impact on how I conduct marketing at Genesis Orwell Mencap.

Valuable insight

One of those is the guidance I received on writing articles for print media, I was able to receive advice on getting articles published that I never would have come across without this training programme. The valuable knowledge of what journalists are looking for will prove extremely helpful as I tailor future articles to be of interest to the public, not just an attempt to grow an organisation.

I also hold valuable insights into the different kinds of marketing work that is available, whether it is B2B or B2C. By now understanding the differences in these, I can now simply determine what needs to be done when creating content to engage these two very different groups.

What I found especially fascinating was getting an insight into the world of Public Affairs, as the chaos that we are transfixed by everyday was broken down from the perspective of PR professionals that manage these different controversies.

The One Show

In an amazing stroke of luck, straight after my media engagement training session, I received a call from BBC’s The One Show. If it had been any other day, I would have been left speechless at the magnitude of the biggest broadcaster in the country reaching out to Genesis Orwell Mencap.

However, I knew just the way to approach the conversation, the questions you must always ask, and the information you need to get down when engaging with media broadcasters due to PLMR Genesis’s training programme. As a result, The Green Bike Project, a social enterprise that is part of Genesis Orwell Mencap, was featured.

I will always be grateful for the time that I was invited into the PLMR Genesis community. I am lucky to have this insight into so many professional’s wisdom and knowledge which will prove invaluable for all my future endeavours. Thank you to the entire team for making me so feel so welcome and for this amazing training opportunity.

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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.