Here are the skills, tips and tricks I’ve learnt, copied and stolen from my colleagues at #TeamPlum during my internship, all of which I’m grateful for.
The gift of foresight
Before this internship, I couldn’t tell you what I was eating for breakfast tomorrow. Now, mimicking my colleagues, I’ve choreographed it so that I’ll write a day’s worth of tweets, next Tuesdays to-do list, a draft press release about an event happening in three weeks and a 2015 Valentines-themed blog, all before 9am on a Monday.
The power of quotations
Karen has taught me that quotations are a key part of a news release and powerful because they can’t be edited. I’ve learnt to use quotes in the body of a story rather than as an afterthought. Quotations can also help an audience relate to a story by capturing the personalities of the individuals or organisations mentioned.
Time is always of the essence
Previously, working for a non-profit organisation, there were days where I could spend all day on one task. Working for Plum has taught me to divide my time between clients, prioritise my workload and create comprehensive task lists. Now I start each day by discussing key tasks and upcoming deadlines with the team so I have a clear plan of action.
Banishing fear of the phone
I’d like to thank David for introducing me to a whole new phone etiquette when dealing with the media, journalists and clients. David’s taught me to have confidence when following up on news releases and to think carefully about appropriate times to make calls, so that they don’t clash with lunchtime or deadline days.
Know your audience
Writing to match the voice of certain clients was definitely one of the biggest challenges for me. Ange has taught me to take time before writing each news story, making sure I analyse the goals of the release, who we’re writing on behalf of and exactly who’ll be reading it. All of this will change depending on whether the release is destined to reach a local community or other organisations.
There’s no such thing as a silly question
Asking questions during an internship is the quickest way to learn, improve and progress. It’s always better to ask and get clarification than to do something incorrectly.
Team work makes the dream work
Mostly, I’ve learnt that PR is definitely not a solo venture. It takes real team effort and communication to brainstorm ideas, meet deadlines and copywrite/proofread literature. Having the support of a hard-working and knowledgeable team is also the easiest and simplest way to stay calm under pressure.