My PR Internship: “The Hot Tin Roof experience” #02

We welcomed young Ayah into our offices last week. She kept a blog of her time with us, part one of which can be read here.

Here is her account of day 2 at Hot Tin Roof.

Today I started brainstorming ideas for the blog, hesitating between writing about my experience in Hot Tin Roof, the do’s and don’t of PR as a career or the importance of Public Relations to the media and society. Hopefully I chose the right one!

As Sarah meets a lot of people, and by extension receives a lot of business cards, I was given the job of logging in all the details into the address book. It was really interesting finding out the type of people Sarah, as a PR, has met, which judging from the business cards is an awful lot!

I then went on to obtaining numbers from publications and calling them up to see whether they had a forward features list available. Most of the publications were either unavailable by phone or had no list of that sort. The ones that were unavailable were contacted via email.

In between calling publications, I began to think the sort of questions I would ask when writing my own appointment press releases. Questions that sprang to mind all had one commonality: W. Who, What, Where, Why, When? The questions I learnt in English when I was 8 years old finally had a use. By asking questions starting with ‘w’ in journalism, your readers are able to understand and more importantly, your readers are able to value your writing.

At first, I was a little wary about calling up the publications. What if they asked me a question and I didn’t know how to respond? What if this? What if that? I then realised after my first couple of calls that I was just worrying about nothing.I’ll share a piece of advice I received – if you want to make it in PR or journalism, get experience in a call centre. Employers value staff who knows how to make a proper call, and in PR, you’ll have to make a lot of calls!

The skills I’ve learnt in Hot Tin Roof so far are calculating a time sheet, screening calls, managing data systems and filing, and right clicking on a Mac (ctrl click, by the way!).

I have also learnt quite a lot of PR lingo too! ‘HTR’ stands for Hot Tin Roof, a ‘launch’ is the public marketing announcement of a product and ‘forward features’ also known as ‘editorial calendars’ are predetermined story topics by media outlets.

After calling quite a few publications and noting their details on a spreadsheet, it was 4’oclock again. I think I have learned an awful lot today and I am really enjoying my placement!

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