Being a small town country girl at university can be overwhelming – everyone aspires to work in London and live the big city life. But fast paced and exhilarating can also exhausting and I’m just not sure it’s for me. Being a little fish in a big pond can be daunting.
When I was looking for PR internships they all offered so much potential, but I just wasn’t sure I was comfortable moving into the capital. The prospect of staying in a smaller town, with a close-knit team excites me much more. And I guess that’s where Little Red Rooster comes in. Based close to my university and in the countryside with a team that works seamlessly together and run by Vic… who sometimes brings in her dog, Keef, to work. Frankly, it was my dream.
Tell us a little about your internship with Little Red Rooster PR, what were the main tasks that you were trusted with?
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started at Little Red Rooster. I had never done a PR internship before and from what was rumoured about my friends’ placements, I was going to be a professional tea maker, brilliant at scanning and would know Twyford like the back of my hand in no time. This couldn’t have been further from the truth.
After an hour of training with Lucy on my first morning, the reigns were in my hands. I was busy mounting coverage all day, time flew past and before I knew it, it was 5pm and I didn’t want to leave. The team were so welcoming, gave me loads of tasks to keep me busy and some valuable insight into what they do day-to-day. I loved it.
The remaining days were some of the fastest four weeks I’ve had in a long time and some of the best. Worth every early morning whilst my student housemates slept in till 1pm.
The team got me involved in their creative brainstorms, where they discussed ideas of how they could get Greenwich and Proporta more coverage; from leaving portable chargers around London landmarks to personalising passport cases and travel wallets at King’s Cross Station. Being involved in projects like this opened my eyes to the imagination and talent involved in PR.
Another part of my time at LRR was spent organising stock from sunglasses to socks, and sending out samples to journalists or shoots (a pair of socks even went to James Bay’s stylist). I learnt how to edit an editorial status on a Google Document to show what stock was available, as well as what was currently out with journalists, and to document what coverage the team had achieved along with what was in the pipeline for the future.
During my month I helped the team find appropriate slots for their clients and their products by looking through magazines and newspapers at existing articles. For some clients, going to events where journalists will be reporting is the best way to promote their products and target a suitable audience, making them aware of what the brand offers. So, for Adidas Eyewear I collated a list of sporting events they could be represented at.
Getting involved in the everyday tasks that go on behind the scenes at Little Red Rooster showed me that an office job does not mean doing the same thing 9-5 every day. In fact, even under one job description, the possibilities as endless. This realisation made me more certain about my decision to pursue PR because it’s fast paced and always changing, perfectly suiting my slightly barmy personality.
What have you learnt over the course of your internship?
Organisation is key, do not doubt this. ‘To-do’ lists will be your best friend. Knowing what you need to do will help you feel more in control of your work load and prevents any feelings of stress that could arise. The team are always more than happy to help you prioritise the coverage you need to mount so don’t be scared to ask.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. Some of the team have been working in PR for years, they don’t expect you to know everything. It’s better to ask a question, however simple or stupid it may seem and learn the answer than do something wrong, which could ultimately prove costly.
Attention to detail is vitally important in many job roles, but my time as an LRR intern has taught me that this skill is essential to many tasks. Even mundane tasks such as mounting coverage demand precision and the careful following of steps to produce sound results.
Good relationships are essential throughout the whole of your PR journey. Maintaining strong relationships with the companies you intern at opens a plethora of opportunities to you in the future and a ‘foot in the door’ is essential when starting out in PR. These relationships are also invaluable when your career starts, you will require connections with journalists to gain coverage for your clients. Be a people person.
Being in a good team makes all the difference. I always thought that being successful would be easy if you are motivated enough to go out and work for it and yes, I don’t doubt this has a massive part to play, but this month has taught me there’s more to it than that. Being in a team with a group of exceptionally talented and motivated individuals drives your desire to succeed and succeed not just for yourself but for your team.
What advice would you give interns starting in PR?
Be yourself. Every PR agency is different and you will undoubtedly find one that suits you. I did not hesitate to be myself at Little Red Rooster and luckily, I fitted into the coop perfectly. Being myself made my time at LRR all the more enjoyable and I think the same goes when you start your career. Being happy somewhere inspires you to be more motivated and makes you want to get up in the mornings (even when its 6am and the rain is lashing against your window).
It might take many months to find an internship and a company that suits you, but when you find the one, it’ll be worth every early morning alarm you had to endure and every morning you wished you could stay under your duvet.
Get involved, ask for things to do and offer your assistance to the team at every opportunity. Even the simplest tasks such as looking through magazines at potential slots for clients can hugely add to the level of knowledge and experience you need to take on a permanent job in PR.
Read, read, read and read some more. Being aware of many different magazines, newspapers, newspaper supplements, websites and blogs can massively impact your success when trying to get coverage for a product. Knowing a blogger that other people in your team haven’t heard of, but would be suitable to promote a client, can be the difference between your team getting that last piece of coverage to hit target, or not.
In your opinion, how important do you think internships are?
Without my internship at Little Red Rooster I think I would still be stuck in the rut of not having any idea what I want to do with my life. This is typical for many university students who aren’t studying vocational degrees. Internships help you find your calling and eliminate the careers you can’t stand to even spend a week in.
Not only does getting an internship open your eyes and widen your opinions of prospects that you were maybe previously narrow-minded about, it also opens a host of other opportunities for you to gain further experience. Every company runs differently; PR can vary from brands that manage their promotion in house, to agencies that handle an abundance of specially chosen labels. Finding what works for you is priceless to finding a career you’ll love.
Anyone that has been in a position similar to mine knows the struggle of trying to get experience when you have no previous experience, but once you’ve got your foot in the door of one, this becomes much easier. Welcome every offer that you’re given with open arms, you’ll benefit more than you realise.