Last week we were lucky to have Sarah Brereton, who has recently completed her degree in Politics and Economics at Newcastle University, in the Orchard for some work experience. Here she lets us know what she found out about the world of public relations.
After finishing my studies at Newcastle University this June, I found myself in the position that many graduates do: freshly equipped with a good degree, great memories and invaluable life experience, but thoroughly confused about what to do next. With an interest in media and a love of writing, I was naturally intrigued by PR but knew little about the practicalities of a career within the industry. Fortunately, Orchard PR were kind enough to let me join them for a week to find out what it was all about.
From the outset, the Orchard team were incredibly welcoming and accommodating. The office atmosphere is open and supportive; facilitated, in part, by the open-plan office space, the team work in close collaboration with one another, which allowed me to gain a broad insight into their work across the whole breadth of the company. I was immediately made busy by the account executives, and the week continued in that vein.
A role within PR, I learned, is diverse and varied. My daily tasks varied from research into a wide range of topics, to drafting press releases and creating infographics for clients; no two days were the same. In a job market that seems overwhelmingly desk-centric, the active nature of the role was a refreshing surprise. A highlight of my week was attending a client’s launch event, where I was interested to see first-hand Orchard’s role in coordinating the media, publicising the event, and the work that goes on behind the scenes.
A key point I have learned from this experience is that success in PR is heavily reliant on your awareness of the world around you; being informed and aware of current affairs is essential, and the ability to see potential opportunities for your clients in these headlines is crucial. The Orchard team have their finger on the pulse; they continually monitor all forms of media for mentions of their clients and are constantly brainstorming new ideas to create opportunities, highlighting the importance of creativity and lateral thinking.
In all, I really loved my week in the office and have gained an invaluable insight into PR – what it involves and what it takes to be successful – from the brilliant team at Orchard. A huge thank you to Brooke and the team!