Navigating the world of PR – my time with Jennie Holland PR

by Saskia Purdy

Upon completion of my second year studying Business and Marketing at Northumbria University in Newcastle, I had the opportunity to join the team at Jennie Holland PR in my home town of Nottingham.

I’d wanted to broaden my skillset and learn more about the PR industry, so an internship was the perfect opportunity to do both!

As a marketing student with a keen interest in public relations, I wanted to gain knowledge and hands-on experience in a professional setting. JHPR had a broad client base, working across a diverse range of industries and this has been particularly beneficial, allowing me to understand and see in practice, how strategies are altered depending on the requirements of the clients.

From my first day, I was made to feel very welcome. I had never worked in a partially remote role before, so I was apprehensive as to how I would adjust to this new way of working, but we had regular zoom calls and kept in close contact daily, with no question being a silly question!

On the first day of my three-week internship, Rebecca gave me an overview of what tasks I would be working on and I worked with the team on a variety of content – including blogs, social media strategy and content, coverage systems, reports, press content and lots of important client research!

Having previously focused on social media for a house listings role, it was great to put my skills into practice with the social media strategy and I felt like I learned so many valuable time management and organisational skills during my placement.

Attending client meetings was a significantly important part of my internship and it was fascinating to hear the team sharing creative ideas, troubleshooting issues and planning strategies.

My time at Jennie Holland PR has flown by, but the experience has been invaluable in moving forward with my final year of education. I take with me practical experience and feel my skills have developed, and I’m very much look forward to using my new insights into the PR industry, in the future.

With everyone at Jennie Holland PR’s support, I feel my confidence has improved and I feel more equipped to transition smoothly from university into a professional environment.

Beyond Robin Hood: Exploring Nottingham’s hidden gems

By Amber Macey

In the heart of the East Midlands lies a city with a rich tapestry of history, culture, and modern charm.

Welcome to Nottingham! Where every cobbled street whispers tales of legends past, and every corner holds the promise of a new adventure.

Nottingham’s history dates back centuries – renowned for its lace-making industry and the legendary home of the heroic outlaw Robin Hood, the city wears its heritage proudly.

Perched majestically on its rocky throne, Nottingham Castle stands as a guardian of Nottingham’s past. Originally constructed by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, the castle has witnessed countless chapters of England’s tumultuous history, from medieval conflicts to royal intrigues. But Nottingham’s history isn’t confined to the castle walls alone. Wander through the Lace Market, where the echoes of Nottingham’s industrial past resonate through the beautifully preserved Victorian architecture.

If you were told Nottingham’s home to over 500 caves going all the way back to the dark ages, would you believe it? Dating back to the medieval times and originally quarried for their sandstone; these caves served a range of purposes from homes, workplaces, storage spaces and even air raid shelters during World War II. Guided tours lead visitors through a maze of passages.

Nottingham also provides a haven of contemporary expression for art enthusiasts. The city is home to several galleries showcasing both local talent and internationally acclaimed artists. One such gem is the Nottingham contemporary, a world-class gallery renowned for its thought-provoking exhibitions and innovative programming. Situated in the Lace Market, this architectural marvel not only houses captivating artwork but also serves as a hub for students and professionals to peacefully work.

For those who revel in the great outdoors, Nottingham offers an abundance of green spaces to explore. Lose yourself in the beauty of Wollaton park, where the grandeur of Wollaton Hall never fails to impress, or take a leisurely stroll along the scenic River Trent. Nature enthusiasts will delight in the diverse flora and fauna of Sherwood Forest – cycle, hike or simply bask in the serenity of nature.

But Nottingham isn’t just about its rich history and cultural offerings, it’s also a city brimming with opportunities for growth and prosperity, especially for students. Home to two prestigious universities, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, the city boasts a thriving academic community. Compared to other major cities in the UK, Nottingham offers relatively affordable living costs, making it easier for students to manage their expenses. From accommodation to dining out and entertainment, the plethora of offers, means students can enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank.

So, Nottingham is far from just a city – it’s a living, breathing tapestry of history, culture, and opportunity. Whether you’re strolling through the historic Lace Market district or exploring the winding tunnels of the City of Caves, there’s truly something for everyone. It’s a city where tradition and innovation coexist, where the past informs the present and paves the way for future.

Keeping your eyes peeled and your options open is the best way to explore future career paths – Finley Knowles, JHPR intern

Starting a university degree that you have always wanted to do is great, you feel like you have achieved something really big and you got there all by yourself, but what if you fall out of love with it?  

Exploring multiple options and trying new things is the best way to learn more about yourself and gain fantastic life experiences, whilst helping to further your career. 

I came to university with my heart set on being a broadcast journalist and although this is still an option, as the course progressed, I realised it may not be for me.  

I chose to do a personal relations module on the course and was so glad I did, as I realised I could be creative, still produce written, social, audio and video content, as well as work alongside multiple brands that I had an actual interest in. 

This led to me seeking a work experience placement at Jennie Holland PR for a month and wow, what a month I have had! 

Throughout my time here I have gained invaluable knowledge from the team and have been involved in many aspects of public relations – attending client meetings, filming and crafting content for social media, sitting in on interviews and drafting press releases, alongside getting stuck into research tasks and competitor studies. 

Access to JHPR’s media and editing software allowed me to be really hands on with creative assets, tailoring content and bringing brands to life through social channels, and it was really interesting to see how powerful these tools are for amplifying brand campaigns and messaging. 

Working across multiple sectors, from jewellery to construction, law and a whole spectrum of professional services, really helped to diversify my understanding of how different industries work and the important role that communications plays in ensuring brands are seen and heard in the right places. 

Being immersed in the brands allowed me to put my university skills into practice and apply them to a real-world setting, highlighting what I enjoyed most about my PR module I had enjoyed so much during my course. 

The placement helped me to understand that public relations is a path that I want to pursue and I’m looking to furthering my career in the communications industry.  

When I joined university, I was convinced I would leave a journalist, but my advice to anyone starting out is to explore your options, as you really will learn so much about yourself and the opportunities that are out there. You can end up doing something you really love, and you will also meet some great people along the way! 

JHPR teams up with charity to promote UK’s first live mental health event of its kind

We are extremely pleased to be working with Birmingham-based charitable organisation Be;Live, in the build up to its greatly anticipated, first-of-its-kind, live mental health event, taking place in Birmingham next weekend (2nd April).

We have a wealth of experience in the not-for-profit sector and have been appointed to provide digital PR services on a pro-bono basis for Be;Live — to build awareness and maximise ticket sales for the upcoming event.

Be;Live was founded by James Crystal who began the organisation after suffering abuse as a teenager which manifested into several years of substance misuse and criminal activity, eventually leading to a prison sentence and a diagnosis of PTSD and depression.

Now aged 28 and five years sober, James’ and the event’s aims are simple: to educate, inspire and empower people around the topic of mental health and ultimately contribute to reducing the UK’s stark mental health statistics.

Be;Live brings together not only professionals and specialists but also those with lived experiences, who have survived serious adversity, to share their stories, support and advice in order to change the way we all see mental health, providing tools for attendees to take the first steps in creating positive mental health.

Taking place at Gas Street Central in Birmingham on Saturday 2nd April 2022, the event – which can be attended in person or virtually – will feature a range of guest speakers, including former Sky Sports presenter, Simon Thomas and ex-premier league footballer, Clarke Carlilse among many others, who will be sharing their own personal stories around mental health.

The JHPR team have been busy providing publicity services to Be;Live by securing print, online and broadcast media coverage for the event, as well as influencer marketing services.

Georgina Mackintosh, our senior PR manager, said: “We are honoured to be working with Be;Live – James is a hugely inspiring and humble individual who, after going through traumatic events and facing mental health struggles of his own, is now striving to help others and let them know that no one has to go through hardship alone.

“As a midlands-based digital PR team, we are proud to be able to offer our expertise to help promote this unique and important event – which is open to everyone and free for students.

“Be;Live is an event unlike anything the UK has seen before and it will make a real impact on people’s lives, both those who want to improve their own mental wellbeing but also those who simply want to have a better understanding of mental health to support friends and family. We look forward to attending this year and for years to come.”

James Crystal, founder and managing director of Be;Live, said: “We’re overwhelmed with the amount of support we’ve had from businesses who are extending the work from our small team here at Be;Live.

“The team at Jennie Holland PR have delivered so much more than we could have hoped including an interview with Global and several PR pieces in press to help drive awareness of our event. It goes without saying, it’s the people behind these supportive brands who have understood how important an event like Be;Live is and we honestly felt Jennie and her team were just as passionate about our cause as we are. We’re eternally grateful for all of their support.”

Ticket sales and brand sponsorship of the event will raise funds for independent mental health charities who provide free mental health services on the front line.

In person event tickets start from less than £23, and virtual event tickets costs just over £10. Further information about the event can be found at www.belive.org.uk.

Calling all social media whizzes – we are hiring!

If you are passionate about and skilled in social media and have a minimum of one years’ industry experience, then we are looking for you!

We are a boutique agency in the heart of Nottingham’s Lace Market in the city centre, with coffee, cake, access to the shops and everything else you could wish for during the working day right on your doorstep.

Our environment is creative, inclusive and supportive of talent and progression, and we work smart and celebrate success (both work and personal). We offer flexible working with a blend of home and office days and additional annual leave days for keeping the mind happy, as well as team outings.

In this role you will be working alongside the wider team on a varied portfolio of great brands, across a number of sectors – and we can guarantee no day with be the same!

If you are looking for an opportunity to use your skills and creativity to wow our clients and make a real difference to their businesses, then this is the role for you.

We offer progression, ongoing training and development, and a fun place to work where you can thrive. There are no big agency politics or the ’sink or swim’ approach. Here you are a key member of our team and will be supported.

Job description:

o Social media strategy and implementation

o Develop optimised social media content, organic and paid and create design assets

o Content scheduling across multiple platforms

o Online community management: build quality followers and create engaged online communities

o Identify timely social media opportunities and action activity in response

o Keep up to date on the ongoing functionality changes of the platforms and embrace

o Auditing and analysis of social media channels to drive reach and results

o Creation of other non-social media content such as blogs

o Client liaison and meetings (with senior team members)

o Social media results reporting

Experience and skills required:

o 1-2 years of experience working in a social media role

o Social media content creation; organic and paid

o Track record of managing social media accounts and delivering campaigns

o Comprehensive understanding and a real passion for social media – the features and opportunities presented by the major platforms

o Digitally minded and driven

o Confident communicator and an excellent writer

o Enthusiastic and organised self-starter with lots of creative ideas

Salary dependent on experience and attitude.

To start your journey with us, please send your CV to hello@jenniehollandpr.com.

Applications close on Monday 29th November 2021.

How the pandemic has changed our shopping habits: The rise of the subscription box

If there’s one business model that has thrived as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s the subscription box. From beauty boxes to craft and recipe boxes there’s truly a subscription box for everyone.

According to Royal Mail’s recent UK Subscription Box Market report, the sector in the UK has grown rapidly and is set to be worth £1.8 billion by 2025.

The report shared statistics around the highest number of subscription boxes per adult in the UK in relation to area, and in third place after London and the North East, were subscription box shoppers in our area, the East Midlands, which averaged 4.6 boxes per person per year![1]

For many people, food subscription boxes specifically became something that they relied on during lockdown when eating out was a distant memory and going to the supermarket was a weekly mission fraught with sanitising stations and queues.

Despite restrictions being lifted, the seed of convenience has already been sewn in minds of the customers that gave recipe or food subscription boxes a go. The idea behind this B2C model is that long-term relationships are forged between buyer and seller built around convenience and quality.

Delivery boxes, specifically recipe boxes, are paving the way when it comes to food and packaging waste in several ways. Firstly, as they are pre-portioned you get the exact amount of ingredients needed for a dish so you don’t need to throw any excess food. Secondly, when ordering online, we tend to only order what we need rather than being tempted by extra items that we don’t really need in supermarkets which leads to waste.

It’s not just big companies like Hello Fresh and Gousto that are offering food subscription boxes, many smaller, independent businesses are delivering this business model and thriving.

We are very pleased to have started working with local business Kerry’s Fresh who have also benefitted from the rise of the subscription box.

Kerry’s Fresh have been operating in Nottingham since 1885 where they began selling livestock from a stall in Nottingham’s Old Market Square. Over the last 136 years, the business has gone from strength to strength and adapted to meet the need of its customers. Kerry’s Fresh adapted their offering in response to the thousands of orders they were receiving during the pandemic, creating an online shop and delivering fresh produce in Nottinghamshire and beyond.

Due to their success during lockdown, Kerry’s Fresh has employed more staff and partnered with DPD so that they can deliver their products nationwide.

Their range of products now includes dairy, meat, fish, bakery items, vegan friendly products and even a selection of craft ales and wine. They expanded their range to during lockdown to include customisable boxes for family favourite meals such as roast dinners and stir fries which have been an enormous success.

What does the future hold for the subscription box? The Royal Mail report suggest that the popularity of the subscription model will remain strong as it promotes high levels of loyalty. Fewer than a quarter (24%) of subscription box shoppers said they intended to cancel their subscriptions any time soon – convenience is king, after all.

[1] https://www.royalmailgroup.com/en/press-centre/press-releases/royal-mail/consumers-drive-growth-in-uk-subscription-box-market-as-popularity-soars/

How work experience can help you on your career path

Graduating is such a minefield and can be a really daunting time. I have experienced this intimidating unknown twice now. I finished my undergraduate degree in the summer of 2020, which was overwhelming for obvious reasons. And while I knew everyone else was in the same position, it was difficult to not compare myself to those (and only those) who seemed to have their whole life sorted.

Now, I am facing my second experience of graduating. I am at the end of my Broadcast Journalism MA at Nottingham Trent University, a course that I applied to after the pandemic panic took a firm hold of me the first time around.

I knew I wanted to go into media and I figured by gaining more skills and experience in the subject, I would be in a better position a year on. And I definitely am. I am so grateful and glad I took the opportunity to pursue a Masters because I have learnt so many transferrable skills. So, what is the next step for me?

This choice can be huge and frightening, which is why I endorse anyone who wants to do work experience.

Gaining valuable professional experience is a fantastic way to learn more about not only your chosen sector but also yourself and how you work best; your preferred ways to work, your favoured tasks, your passions and what excites you. A placement can be the step you need to make sure that the direction you’re going in is right for you. While academic experience is extremely valuable in so many ways, I think it misses the mark on the learning you can do in a professional setting.

For me, my time at JHPR has shown me how creative and exciting the industry can be and how creativity is something I definitely need in my future career.

For example, I love how social media is all about the users’ and customers’ experience, and how impactful this can be for a business. I spent a lot of time creating social media content during my work experience, contributing to clients’ overall business strategies, considering target audiences and tailoring my work according to each platform. It’s highly rewarding to see the process from start to finish – planning content, writing, creating artwork, scheduling and monitoring, and seeing how well our content performs.

Not only was my time at JHPR valuable in terms of learning about the industry, but I learned so much from being a part of the lovely JHPR team. My ideas and questions were always encouraged and welcomed, and I was trusted and supported in trying different tasks for a variety of sectors, from writing press releases and listicles, to writing and scheduling social media posts.

If I can pass any wisdom on to other students and graduates who are currently wading through the uncertainty is that you can only benefit from a placement.

You will learn and develop the skills you already have and it will give you the confidence you need for your next step. Do research into the sector beforehand so you have an idea of what the placement will bring but also to ensure it’s a sector you see yourself going into. And finally, make the most of your work experience, learn as much as you can, ask lots of questions, and enjoy!

Interested in applying for work experience at JHPR? We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email with a few details about yourself, what you’re studying and why would you like to join us to hello@jenniehollandpr.co.uk

By Lucy Hilton

The importance of nurturing client relationships

In the PR world, doing our job well requires knowing our clients’ brands very well.

And that is why building lasting client relationships is a key part of what we do – so we can understand businesses and those who they are selling to.

Besides entering into an engagement for a contract of work – the best client relationships require careful management and are sustained and nurtured through regular and close communication, transparency and going the extra mile.

Especially during these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure that clients are well looked after, as businesses face some of the toughest times in the current economic climate.

We’ve compiled our fundamentals for keeping and looking after important client relationships, to make sure clients are content and working relationships are the best that they can be.

Gain trust

Client trust is vital in a good working relationship and this can be built through open communication, agreeing realistic goals and delivering campaigns with tangible, solid results. We work with our clients to communicate as often as possible so that we can be sure we are meeting their needs and they can be safe in the knowledge that they are being listened to and that our work is of value. Also, being on hand as often as needed is important to talk and guide clients through situations and opportunities that may arise, offering professional input and solutions.

Be transparent

There is no point promising the world and under-delivering, as this will only spike distrust in a working relationship. In terms of deliverables, these need to be carefully considered and agreed  upon following meetings, in which the identification of targets and business needs takes place. It’s always fine to discuss ideas and to say what will and won’t work for a client. Certain ideas may be potentially more risqué and ground breaking, which is also great as it’s important to keep ideas fresh, however – it’s important to proceed with caution when handling any and all plans to ensure the best interests of the client are at the heart of any strategy. Transparency is of total importance from an agency point of view, to ensure that you negotiate and understand plans of action, which will stop you from entering into any unresolvable situations.

Go the extra mile

Clients notice the cherries on top, and any PR agency worth its salt will go above and beyond to meet and exceed client expectations – offering advice and ideas for added value regularly. Whether it’s offering proactive opportunities for media interviews when a particular relevant new topic crops up, or ensuring your brand is a trendsetter in it’s industry with out of the box ideas that pave the way in terms of leadership – there are always plenty of opportunities for news to place and your brand to get noticed – so it’s always worth going the extra mile, and clients will remember.

Be flexible

From budget, to deliverables – every client is different and a one size fits all approach is never the best option to suit varying client needs. Sitting down with a client and getting under the skin of their needs is the best way to devise a strategy that is bespoke to them – which meets the needs, requirements and target audiences of their services and products.

Whatever direction your business is going in, communicating your brand is so important, contact Jennie Holland PR to find out how we can help you, and to find out how to get the best out of your PR agency, read more here.