They say a change is as good as a rest, so when reading week arrived I jumped at the chance of two days work experience at Cheshire based Souter PR. Headed up by Director Sue Souter, the team of three look after PR for a variety of food and drink, legal and B2B clients and they have recently launched their Content Academy, which helps businesses become better producers of their own content.
I arrived at the office just as news of Wonga’s feature film ‘12 Stories’ was breaking. The film was the moneylender’s own PR attempt to dispel the company’s negative image, released on the same day that Wonga and other payday lenders were due to face questioning by MPs about their business practices. Cue lively discussion in the office on the subject, not least because Director Sue Souter and Account Director Kirsty Hall were due to deliver a pitch to a business cash advance firm that very week. The importance of being news savvy is drummed into us as PR students and that morning’s events really put it into context.
From then on I was kept busy writing press releases about World Record breaking football matches and dental litigation cases before compiling media lists and researching trends in the hospitality sector for an imminent pitch – I couldn’t have asked for more variety.
It was really interesting to see Sue put a pitch together for the business cash advance client. She drew on current attitudes towards moneylending and issues in the market to show the client how Souter PR could help improve its reputation and strengthen its position in the financial sector. It was an invaluable way to see how much work goes into creating a pitch and I could see how the work we are doing in PRCTP this term translates into agency life.
Sue describes PR as storytelling and two days with her team opened my eyes to the variety of ways they do this for clients daily. I learned lots and their friendly advice has put me on the right track for my future career in PR. Special thanks goes to Junior Account Exec Chidi for explaining the finer points of dental negligence and her never ending supply of sweets!