As a business management student, I wanted to learn more about the world of marketing and PR – an area that is only briefly touched upon within a broad business course. I was apprehensive about starting a month-long internship because, with my past work experiences, I have been stood round with nothing to do apart from make coffee. I didn’t want to move to a new city to do that for a month.
First morning at my desk
The first day I was instantly welcomed and briefed on everything I needed to know. The Active Profile team made an effort to get to know me and what I wanted from this internship, so they could delegate relevant tasks that would make for a good experience and benefit me in the long run. I was given a tailored task list that I could refer to throughout the month, meaning I was never left with nothing to do.
On the job
I worked with the PR team compiling media lists, writing and issuing press releases, contacting journalists and working with clients to ensure their stories were published. I also created campaign reports to show clients what activity we’d delivered for them.
The team took time to train me for different tasks, like writing and issuing press releases and using online database software. I feel like I’ve learnt more about PR here than I have at university. I was given a rich insight into how PR works when I was working with a new business venture in Liverpool that needed as much positive coverage as it could get. After I secured coverage in local and national press, we visited the company and I was able to meet the people involved.
With more knowledge of marketing than PR, I was interested in seeing the practical strategies and tactics that are used within a marketing agency. I learned about inbound marketing and how Active Profile uses this approach to generate leads for clients and nurture them to become customers.
I was also given the opportunity to come up with campaign ideas for the rebranding and positioning strategy for a client. With the marketing team, I structured and scheduled Twitter plans for the upcoming weeks and took control of Active Profile’s Instagram page. I also helped with the Active Profile blog, writing posts on PR, marketing and relevant, topical subjects. In addition, I attended networking events, participated in meetings and helped with raising awareness of the ‘Inspired Spaces North 2018’ campaign.
What I’ve learnt
I’ve gained so much insight in to the industry and what it takes to work for a communications agency. I started this internship with no knowledge or expectations of PR and with no intention to work in that sector in the future. But my time at Active Profile has taught me things about the industry that I wouldn’t have learnt from my university course, like how to construct press releases and campaign reports and how to communicate with clients to maximise coverage.
In terms of marketing, the knowledge I’ve gained about strategies is vital. I was shown the difference between outbound and inbound marketing and how the results of each approach can differ depending on the context. It’s more valuable to learn what strategies a comms agency currently uses and how those strategies are implemented than to learn theory from a textbook that may not be relevant to how it’s done in business today.
Active Profile made me feel part of the team instantly. The company has created a great culture that makes an eight-hour day at work enjoyable and rewarding. I came to Active Profile expecting to only be answering phones and making tea, but I couldn’t have been happier with the responsibility and work I was given.
After graduation next year, I plan to look in to careers at communications agencies and I will be looking in Liverpool after falling slightly in love with the city this month.