An Insight into the World of Public Relations: My Internship with Silver Ball PR

An Insight into the World of Public Relations: My Internship with Silver Ball PR
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“Advertising is saying you’re good. PR is getting someone else to say you’re good.”

I came into Silver Ball PR knowing really very little about what happens in a PR office, other than writing press releases, but, to be honest, I don’t think I would even be able to keep count of how many different tasks I’ve completed. I do so many different things on a daily basis that I’m not even that sure I could fully define PR, even after a second summer at Silver Ball PR. Since I couldn’t come up with a perfect definition, I found someone else who comes pretty close. His name was Jean-Louis Gassée and no, my year studying in Paris doesn’t mean I’m any closer to knowing who this man was, but he does seem to really understand PR.

“Advertising is saying you’re good. PR is getting someone else to say you’re good.”

Without meaning to sound like too much of a stereotypical undergraduate, I don’t have my life mapped out. I haven’t wanted the same career since I was four, and I didn’t pick a vocational degree. However, after working at Silver Ball PR, I have come to realise a few things that I’m good at, and a few that I enjoy, and it’s made things a lot clearer. It’s helped me to realise that I’d love to pursue a career in PR or Marketing.

Problem-solving:

From what I understand, PR is essentially a huge problem-solving exercise, which is an aspect I really enjoy. You’re presented with a problem, like the need for more ticket sales, a desire to rebrand, or a charity hoping to raise money, and then you choose the best way to solve that. It’s amazing how simple people make publicity out to be, and how difficult it actually is. There’s different platforms like social media, print press, TV, and then there’s different approaches, like frequency of social media posts, press releases, PR stunts… The art of PR is knowing which to pick at the right moment and then making it stand out from the crowd.

Creativity:

This leads on to creativity, something that isn’t really learnt, but it is essential. The whole point of a PR stunt is to do something that no one’s seen before, that no one was expecting, that’s when the public and press sit up and listen. I’ve come to appreciate how difficult a task this is, and how important it is to really invest everything you’ve got into a great idea when you find it. I think this is where PR and Marketing are often misunderstood. A stunt isn’t like a sale, you don’t see direct profit, but the stunt is what makes the name of the brand stick. Why do you go to the new restaurant in town? Because you’ve read about it online? Because everyone’s talking about it? Well that’s the point of PR and that’s another key lesson I’ve learnt. Similarly to the quote above, it’s all about getting people talking.

Organisation:

This is an interesting skill to mention because I’m sure that it’s been mentioned in more than a few job applications over the years. Most people claim to be organised, but working in a PR agency with multiple clients to juggle at the same time, you find out if you’re organised or not. My notebook has become my best friend, and the first thing I open on my desktop when I arrive in the office is my inbox.

I’ve had such a formative experience at Silver Ball PR, it’s opened my eyes to an industry which is profoundly misunderstood. I’ve written press releases, made many a spreadsheet, written reports, social media schedules, attended events and launches… Experiences like these really highlight the importance of work experience. I don’t think you can ever really know if an industry is right for you until you gain some experience in it. It’s hard to find internships, but just a week is a huge learning curve, even if it’s just to decide that you really don’t want to end up doing a certain job. I’ll certainly be taking forward a list of skills that I’ve learned throughout both of my summers at Silver Ball PR, from work with Excel, which I can apply to any job, to simply the fact of working in a professional environment with strict deadlines. PR is one of those jobs where you find people with a variety of backgrounds and degrees, because it’s amalgamation of so many transferable skills. I’ve loved getting to know the brilliant team at Silver Ball PR and absorbing the creativity and lively exchange of ideas in the office.

It’s filled me with enthusiasm and I will forever be grateful for my experience with Silver Ball PR and the confidence it has given me in my own abilities. Here’s wishing the best of luck to the next intern!

Maria Out.

[Mic Drops].