Jermaine Lawal-Adewale, Intern
This month, I’m completing an internship at PLMR as part of the Taylor Bennett Foundation’s summer internship programme.
Over the past few weeks, I have been rotating around different teams at PLMR and I’ve learned so much about what working in the comms industry is like. Here’s the top three things I’ve learnt about the comms industry while working here:
1. The breadth of expertise
The first thing that stuck out to me from day one was not to be fooled by the team names! PR teams may operate under a sector umbrella such as education, or health, but do not mistake this for meaning that “education solely works with schools” in the way that I did. A lot of the work done by teams involves preparing correspondence to government figures, scrutinising policies and not only proposing alternatives, but opportunities for collaboration so that better ones can be achieved. Obviously, some teams and employees have greater experience in some areas of PR than others, so when it comes to actions such as engaging with MPs or seeking the opportunity to work with the Government on relevant policies, it may help to liaise with colleagues from across the business. Working collaboratively in this way ensures we can achieve the most successful outcomes for clients.
The importance of a well-connected office for this reason cannot be understated. Even if work is segmented and given to teams based on specialist knowledge, individuals from different teams coming together to work on a project is a common occurrence in agency life.
2. Relationships with clients
From weekly check-in calls to monitoring stories that may be of interest to clients, it is important to keep a good relationship going. Securing the client is merely the beginning of the relationship, but making sure that they are comfortable, and that they know their best interests are at the heart of our advice is the key to strengthening it. Above all, the degree of the relationship between teams and their clients is heavily determined by how often and how well they communicate, and crucially provides a platform for clients to achieve greater success.
3. The importance of keeping up with the news
This is far and away the most important takeaway from the internship itself – the significance of keeping up with the news and monitoring leads in areas in which clients operate is something that cannot be understated. How comms agencies work with clients themselves and go about conducting the relations between them is heavily dependent on the news cycle, as these shape the clients’ goals and subsequently, how agencies can work with them. The news directs a lot of what goes on in the comms world, and therefore it remains important to keep up with the latest developments across politics and relevant sectors.
All these factors have contributed to a very positive experience working in PR, and I feel very lucky to have learnt all the great things the field offers. I’m sure there are more great lessons to learn on the way.