PR Work Experience Stories

"I graduated with a 2.1 in English Literature from UEA in 2009 and I'm currently in my first graduate job as a press officer for a small arts organisation, working two and a half days a week.
 
I originally wanted to be a journalist after being very involved with my university newspaper and completed several work experience placements at local papers. However I soon realised that I felt more drawn towards a career in PR and marketing and that way I could also get involved in working towards promoting the arts, something I have always been passionate about.
 
Basically my role is to manage the media profile of the organisation. What I love about the job is that it's so varied and each day is different. A large part of my job is dealing with enquiries and problems as they arise, so often I have to adapt to what's happening and juggle several things at once - working as a press officer has definitely honed my time management!
 
My duties include writing press releases, editing images, arranging interviews and photo-calls, updating listing websites, liaising with journalists, managing our social networking profiles, sending out press invites for gallery openings and taking photos to use for publication. Another important aspect of what I do is actually looking for stories to send out to the media, rather than waiting for them to come to us. If something interesting is happening I write up the story in the style of the publication I'm aiming for and send it out with some images - if I've managed to write in their style then editors often put it in exactly as I've written it and it's a great boost to our profile.
 
I've also started tentatively doing some freelance PR work as well - I've recently started working as a volunteer media campaigner for an international charity and am also working with a singer-songwriter to promote her music.
 
I think one of the biggest contributing factors to me getting the job was the unpaid work experience I had done previously. Getting into the arts is very competitive, so I would suggest searching high and low for whatever work experience you can get. I completed an unpaid three month media and marketing internship for another arts organisation before I got my current job and worked part-time in a supermarket the rest of the time to make ends meet. Working in the arts can be difficult and stressful but if you're passionate about what you do it can also be extremely rewarding, exciting and inspiring."
 
ELSIE, UEA
 

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