I had no clue what to expect when I arrived at Hot Tin Roof to begin my internship. One thing that I did know was that I came ready to learn. Diving into work at a PR firm can be daunting, especially for someone with very little experience of an agency environment. But Hot Tin Roof has taught me a great deal since I kick started my internship, and I have decided to share the five most important things that I have learned from my time as one the Cats at Hot Tin Roof.
1. Ask questions
Learn by asking questions. There is nothing wrong with not knowing something, especially when you’re new and still finding your feet. It can sometimes be daunting asking questions, especially if you feel they are simple, but how else are you supposed to learn? So, don’t be afraid to be curious. After all, you’re there to do your best work and take in as much as you can.
2. Tone is crucial
Tone can make or break your writing. Since starting at HTR, I’ve learned how to write many different kinds of pieces. A press release, for example, should not have the same tone of voice as a blog. What you say on social media is not necessarily how you would word it in an article for a client. Every piece of writing is unique and requires a specific style. So it’s often a case of understanding the desired tone and channeling that through your writing. I’ve found editorial guidelines and style guides to be very helpful over the past 10-weeks!
3. Read up!
Since day one of my internship, I’ve been constantly learning. Figuring out exactly what it is your clients do, their market, and what message they want to get across requires research and a lot of reading. Press packs, past press releases, strategies, key messages – you name it! Before you can write anything or begin to communicate a point on behalf of a client, you truly have to understand it for yourself first. And in order to do that, you have to read, read, read!
4. Flexibility is key
No two days are ever the same. It’s cliché, but true! PR is an industry where things are constantly in flux. Since starting at Hot Tin Roof, I’ve learned that schedules can always change. One minute, I could be working on a press release and the next I could be jumping in to help with a last minute client distribution. In PR, you have to be flexible and adept at handling multiple projects at once. It’s great for strengthening those ever-important time management skills!
5. Be confident
Trusting yourself and having confidence in your abilities is essential. While asking questions and getting guidance is vital, taking initiative and doing things on your own is just as important. When I first started at HTR, calling journalists to flag up a client story was incredibly daunting. I just knew that I needed to be confident and after those first few calls, I know that I could do it. When you get in the right mindset and are confident, you can do anything.
So there we have it, my most crucial lessons that I have learned during my time at Hot Tin Roof started. Needless to say, I’m proud to be a cat!