With a 10am start scheduled in, I made my way through a host of semi-familiar faces from the immersion day introductions, although today there was a lot more focus on the work at hand, which is what I was after. Little did I know that the day would continue like this without a moment’s let-up for my one-day-compatriots in PR!
By 10.30am I had already read and reviewed the weekend travel supplements of a range of broadsheets to see how they impacted on any of the clients being taken care of by the consumer team, with particular reference to the Snowdonia Tourist board and MacDonald chain of hotels. As a means of keeping track of developments in the tourism industry this daily check-up is a vital part of the day, plus I learned about ‘champing’ the new fashion of camping out in deconsecrated churches which was novel to say the least!
Shortly after this, I settled into a brew and a bit of familiarisation with two of the areas I’d be working on that day – the Attractions of Snowdonia (of which I found there were many!) and Princes food retailers, who are due to celebrate their 50th anniversary of their Napolina brand (which literally means ‘Little Naples’).
While looking into the Welsh attractions, my eyes were pretty much absorbed by the much fabled ‘Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch’ (and yes, I did just copy and paste that) which also celebrates its 150th anniversary this year and means “St Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the red cave” which is certainly quite a mouthful in itself! Did you know that the village was named this in the 1860s for promotional purposes? I think whoever came up with that deserves a Masters in PR themselves!
Peeling myself away from my newfound fascination with the Welsh language, I decided to find other up and coming events that would need press releases and discovered the Snowdon Race was due to turn 40 this year. As the rest of the consumer team were in meetings for the morning, I set my mind to drafting a press release for this.
Before long, lunchtime was around the corner, and with a team of highly motivated (i.e. hungry) and chip-shop-savvy colleagues close at hand, I indulged in my penchant for a battered sausage – well, this was a special day for me! After lunch, MMU alumni and Consumer Group Associate Director, Anna Varley-Jones stopped by to see how I was getting on. She’d taken the Masters course herself and remembered the all the reading she’d done for the dissertation with Mel as her supervisor – quite an ordeal but totally worth it! After all the meetings of the morning she was then due out for the afternoon meeting with clients, but she’d be back in before the end of the day.
Kat Woodcock, my taskmaster for the day, then laid out a couple more jobs for me to work on for the day, putting together a press invitation for a review of the family holidays in North Wales, and then researching and compiling a list of food bloggers that might be worth approaching for Princes food. Even the research and documentation of both of these were a million miles away from my day job in IT, and although these were quite obviously part of the daily grist in PR, it was such an interesting eye-opener to be able to get to grips with that the rest of the day just flew by… although that could have been the coffee!
Hopefully I’ll be able to arrange another internship day before too long and spend a little more time getting under the skin of some client cases that I only just scratched the surface of, and perhaps the rest of the office too (without making them itch, of course!)