Getting Started

Sophie Dee-Shapland, intern, Clarion Communications

“Gherkin? Banana?”
“Ohh, G-o-r-k-a-n-a.  Er, what’s that…?”

Words that are commonplace to PR professionals are foreign territory for newcomers.  And nearing the end of my work placement at Clarion, I realise that I’ve learnt a lot in a relatively short space of time.  The past few weeks have been my first experience of PR and so initially I didn’t know what to expect.Reminiscent of the childhood experience of starting ‘big school’, the first day was a learning curve.  In fact being shown around a new office is a bit like learning the dynamics of a high school, minus the Mean Girls vibe.  I tentatively awaited my initiation but thankfully - apart from learning to use industry-standard media database Gorkana - there wasn’t one.  

To the contrary, everyone was incredibly welcoming and happy to help me with the basics.  And once I found my feet I was increasingly given more responsibility and the chance to help out on a variety of accounts.   Tasks have ranged from venue research to helping with press-drops, and from calling journalists to assisting in photo shoots.  The experience has been far more than simply general admin, which of course any work entails.  It has proven that similar placements are invaluable when starting out in any industry because without them you might be - to continue the High School movie analogy - totally Clueless.

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