My first encounter with the world of PR

Though
this piece claims that my placement at Approach has been my ‘first encounter’
with public relations, I must stress that it was not the first I’d heard of the
profession. I first became familiar with it when watching Jennifer Saunders on
Absolutely Fabulous. It was the humorous tone of Edina Monsoon, with her
impossibly extravagant manner and her admirable attitude towards life, that
first alerted me to the foggy world of PR.

Saffy: ‘I’m
sorry Mum, but I’ve never seen what you actually do’

Eddy: ‘PR!’

Saffy: ‘Yes,
but…’

Eddy: ‘PR! I
PR things! People. Places. Concepts.’

I
found myself laughing at a line of work that I had *absolutely* no knowledge of
– a problem that is, according to Saffy in the quotation above, one that is
widely shared across the working world. What does it ‘actually’ mean to do ‘PR
things’? Well, my time at Approach has given me a glimpse of just that.

Firstly,
their close-attention and appreciation of the modern realm of social media is
something that has had a significant imprint on my business acumen. All I have
ever known of social media has been the self-indulgent scroll down Instagram on
an eventless evening or the substance-less tweets of reality television stars
and beauty bloggers. If anything, I have always seen social media as a platform
for vulnerability and self-confidence issues.

However,
I have been pleasantly surprised by the way Approach, and other PR companies
alike, use social media to spread their word. By utilising sites like
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, Approach share stories that may not have
otherwise reached certain demographics and in turn cover a larger audience.
Never underestimate the power of the hashtag or the lure of the Instagram location.
It’s all clickbait – an opportunity for business!

The
close-knit team here source the materials for a promising story, search for an
interesting angle or selling point, and then peddle the blueprint towards
surrounding journalists and broadcasters. In one week alone, I have had the
chance to attend several photoshoots, complete social media planners, analyse
video content, conduct media sell-ins over the telephone and much more. Though
this may seem to be simple, Approach has demonstrated to me the precision,
persistence and social awareness that is paramount to succeeding in this line
of work. Whether it be skilfully selecting the relevant information for a piece
or eagerly waiting on responses from journalists – the PR account executives
across the globe go above and beyond to transform what can sometimes be placid
information into compelling stories. You could say they are the fairy
godmothers of the media industry – making the arguably mundane media, magical.

Despite
arriving as a complete stranger to the PR universe, I am pleased to say that my
time at Approach has left me feeling like a welcomed guest in an environment
I’d love to learn more about.  It has
offered me a first-hand account of what life as a PR executive involves – and
it is so much more than Edina’s trimmed down explanation of ‘people, places,
concepts.’ I look forward to unearthing more about public relations – a
profession that need no longer be misunderstood by the masses but appreciated
as a valuable, and vital, vocation.

Written by Rhiannon Young, who’s been doing work experience with us at Approach Towers