Whilst I’ve known for a long time that PR was the career path I wished to follow, joining The PR Office has been eye-opening and surprising on so many levels. Even after a summer interning in legal PR the year before, I was still unprepared for the fast-moving nature of work in a permanent role, the excitement of being given opportunities and watching myself develop, and the sheer variety of the clients I was to encounter.
In my first month I was brought onto client projects and was given the opportunity to help organise, and eventually attend, a major event. I can’t stress enough what a big impression it makes on a new joiner to be given the opportunity to participate in this sort of work from the get-go. Seeing the result of your work first-hand gives you a real appreciation for the importance of the smaller jobs and the contribution you can make to a project, and gets you up-to-speed on the client with regards to their relevant issues and topics.
In terms of my personal growth and development, transitioning from the life of a student into that of a (hopefully!) competent PR professional was certainly a wake-up call. Real-world, real-time challenges tested me on a number of levels and, whilst tough at times, it was clear before long that I was learning new skills. I have no doubt that being able to stay on top of everything whilst juggling a long to-do list is a skill that will prove useful in other areas in my life – whilst I don’t claim to be an organisational grandmaster just yet I am getting more used to moving efficiently and effectively from one task to another, whether writing a press release one moment to briefing the media or preparing a press list the next. I have quickly learnt that in PR it isn’t always possible to rigidly plan your day – being able to adapt on the fly is vital.
Training – or the PRO Library as we call it – has also helped me settle into my new role. This has spanned from crisis management sessions to writing workshops and, of course, the infamous PRO book club. These are all run in-house by colleagues at various levels and have given me the opportunity to not only learn from a range of people, both those I do and don’t work with day-to-day, and also provided me with a chance to improve my own work.
I would be lying if I claimed that the only positive aspects of my job are to do with client work, schmoozing journalists and revamping old media lists. The PR Office’s working environment is a pleasure to be a part of. From mini golf at our summer away day, to steak and cocktails at the Christmas party, and pool and beers in the office on Friday afternoons, the challenging work has been constantly balanced with opportunities to kick back as a team. It’s hard to quantify what a difference it makes when you’re snowed under to be surrounded by a supportive team.
This blog was first published on PR Careers.