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.

What does Threads mean for your business?

In less than a week, new social media app aimed at rivalling Twitter, Threads, has already had more than 100 million sign ups.

Steven Bartlett, Entrepreneur, BBC Dragon, and the host of the podcast, ‘The Diary of a CEO’, said “Twitter is in transition. Its advertising products have never been able to compete with Meta’s, Elon is limiting the amount of tweets you can read and the site is feeling less ‘safe’ for more and more people than ever,” so some individuals and businesses are taking this new launch as an opportunity to shift away from Twitter’s controversy. But should you be doing the same?

Some key differences between the two apps are that Threads allows 500 characters per post, instead of Twitter’s 280, and video uploads of up to five minutes, compared to Twitter’s two minutes 20 seconds. However, the new platform does not allow direct messaging or hashtags, nor does it include trending stories. There is no way to search for content on the app, and while this might sound like a “limitation, it’s also going to create less cancel-culture, less of a mob mentality and less bandwagoning,” Steven Bartlett commented.

So, what does this all mean for businesses? Should you be franticly downloading the new app in order to keep up with the ever-changing world of social media? Or should you just sit back and wait to see how it continues to perform?

It might be a good idea to start experimenting on Threads now, as early adopters of Meta apps are typically ‘rewarded’, meaning your Instagram and Facebook accounts could experience growth as well. As it’s a new app, there are fewer complex algorithms to try and adhere to, and no tried-and-tested strategy to implement, so it’s perfect for authenticity. If you’re feeling burnt out from constantly trying to keep up with other platforms’ changes, a fresh start on a new app may spark some much needed creativity.

However, you must already have an Instagram account in order to sign up to Threads and if you then decide it’s not for you or your business, you cannot delete your Threads profile without deleting the associated Instagram profile, however it can be temporarily deactivated.

The app has also already raised privacy concerns about how it may collect information about a user’s digital activity, including health and fitness, financial, employment and other sensitive information.

LinkedIn continues to be an excellent platform for connecting with other businesses and individuals in a professional setting, so it may not be necessary to also be on this ‘new version of Twitter’, especially as it is not yet approved for use in the EU.

There is a tendency for some to approach social media marketing with a quantity over quality mindset, but it may be best to focus your attention on just one business facing platform and one general public facing platform and do them really well.

In short, the jury is still out when it comes to Threads. Many are really enjoying it, others are completely avoiding it, and we cannot yet say what is the best course of action. It’s currently down to personal preference, but there are definitely a few things to consider before adding another platform to your roster.

No matter your goal, we are here to help with your social media marketing. If the trends and algorithms changes are confusing you, if you don’t have the time or personnel to focus on content creation or copy writing, then Jennie Holland PR should be your first point of call. Get in touch today on 0115 998 3048 or email us at hello@jenniehollandpr.com.

My time as an intern at Jennie Holland PR

Before embarking on my journey as a PR intern at Jennie Holland PR, I didn’t know what to expect at all, but after three weeks, I can say it was the best decision I made.

Over the course of my internship, I witnessed first-hand the ins and outs of the PR industry – from social media management to content creation, to crating videos and listening in on client updates in our Monday morning catch ups.

As an ambivert, it takes a while to be comfortable and adapting to new surroundings can be quite challenging. However, from the moment I walked into the office, I knew not only was I going to learn a lot but that it was the best environment for personal growth.

One of the most significant takeaways from this experience was the realisation that confidence is key! Talk to people, ask questions, no question is too trivial.

So, what did I learn from my time at Jennie Holland PR?

The reality of PR

As a journalism student, I had a very basic understanding of PR as there is so much more to it and I had the opportunity to be involved in many aspects of activity including the creation of press material,  social media audits for clients, media landscape and contact research and digital media creation –  which has really fuelled my passion for PR. I discovered the importance of time management and got the chance to work across a multitude of brands and clients. While this may seem stressful to others, I realised there’s no better feeling than seeing the results you work hard work for!

Teamwork makes the dream work.

The JHPR team were incredibly supportive and nurturing and working alongside the team taught me the importance of teamwork and how collaborative thinking can produce amazing results.

The team always made me feel at home, like I was a long-standing member and work never felt like a burden while I was there. From team lunches to breakfasts mornings, the environment was everything one could hope for in a workplace.

Maintaining relationships  

I learned that maintaining a healthy balance between putting clients’ desires and needs first, whilst offering valuable advice was crucial to producing strong results. Transparency, active listening and meticulous attention to detail are also vital in nurturing long lasting relationships with clients.

Overall, my time at JHPR was enriching, filled with laughter and numerous lessons. Working alongside professionals who willingly shared their expertise and answered my questions, helped to grow my confidence and inform me about future career routes. The last three weeks have confirmed my passion for PR and I’m excited to see how this experience will shape my future endeavours as I make my mark in the world of PR.

The Benefits of Internships to Students and Businesses

Internships and work experience programmes are becoming increasingly popular, serving a multitude of benefits to both students and businesses alike. Overcoming the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduction of overall placements offered to students, businesses are now able to offer work placements again, bringing back a host of benefits to the business workforce, as well as the student cohort.

If you’re sat wondering what these advantages are, let’s explore!

Benefits for students:

  1. Competitive Advantage

Gaining work experience as a student is imperative, especially in a post-pandemic world where application rates are so high. Having a CV that sets you apart from peers is super important and something that will increase your chances of being hired and landing your dream job – because who doesn’t want to fast track securing their dream role?

  1. First Hand Experience

Real-life job experience gives you the chance to explore a variety of different areas that you may be interested in, which allows you to weigh up the sectors that you resonate most and least with in your chosen industry. Having a well-rounded view of these various roles will undoubtedly be helpful after graduation, rewarding you with a much clearer understanding of the career path that you want to go down.

  1. Building Your Network

Having a strong network can be helpful when it eventually comes to job searching, as this could even lead to a job offer from a connection that you have met through a work placement. Internships are great ways to build your network, especially by adding colleagues on LinkedIn where you can gain exposure and get your name out there to potential future employers. Having a strong network at the beginning of your professional career is invaluable and it’s great to continue these relationships after your internship ends.

  1. Securing References and Recommendations

After completion of an internship, it’s helpful to get feedback from your employer. This also offers the opportunity for you to ask for a reference or LinkedIn recommendation which are great to show future employers. It’s definitely worth asking!

  1. Build Confidence

Working as an intern sometimes means throwing yourself into the deep end, but this is not always a bad thing! Facing challenges head on and managing to overcome them is a great way to build confidence and self-esteem, with the effects of this not only affecting your work life but also your personal life too. Why not spark some newfound confidence and take the leap to find an internship today?

Benefits for Employers:

  1. Valuable Support and Increased Productivity

Taking on interns in your business can be hugely beneficial, one of which is allowing current employees to gain useful support on existing projects. By allowing interns to assist with ongoing company work, it can enable other colleagues to put their focus into more advanced projects, knowing that some of their other work is taken care of. This benefits both individuals, allowing work to be completed whilst teaching the intern key new skills.

  1. Mentorship Opportunities

Offering mentorship to potential future leaders in the industry can boost company morale and promote a healthy work culture. By knowing that you are helping to develop the careers of aspiring students, current employees may experience a higher rate of job satisfaction, boosting motivation and increasing effective team leadership.

  1. Excellent Publicity

Companies that offer internships and work placement programmes are often commemorated in the industry for allowing the new wave of professionals to gain key experience. Offering these placements can also increase a company’s visibility amongst universities, often broadening the employment pool even more.

  1. Employee Candidate Pool

Taking on interns can introduce companies to prospective employees who are well suited to their business, allowing them to assess the likelihood of the intern being a good team fit, as well as teaching fundamental skills and procedures that the company follows day-to-day. This could result in recruitment and training costs being reduced if employers decide to take on previous interns who have already experienced working with them.

  1. A Fresh Perspective

Often fresh out of university, interns can offer businesses a new perspective on their day-to-day procedures. With the growing presence of companies and businesses on social media, interns may be able to apply their technology skills to bring new creative opportunities that could boost social media marketing and online engagement.

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 Eleanor Jarvis

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