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.

An ode to Nottingham – why we love our city

We are proud to be based in the heart of the bustling city of Nottingham, with so much right on your doorstep.

From quirky bars to charming independent restaurants and historic tourist hot spots such as Nottingham Castle, it’s no wonder the city has seen an increase in the number of people re-locating from the capital over the last few years.

As well as affordable housing, with the average house price in the city now £210,977*, extensive easy transport links and a diverse cultural offering, the city has a lot to offer to its current residents, visitors and those looking to move.

We love the buzz and vibrancy of Nottingham, and that’s why we’re based in the Lace Market, right in the heart of the action.

As things start to reopen – we have compiled a list of the reasons why we love our city, including our favourite watering holes, haunts and beauty spots.

Rich heritage

Nottingham’s rich heritage can be admired all over the city, stemming from the glorious grounds at Wollaton Park, to the historic corners of Nottingham Castle. From the legend of Robin hood, to the surrounding carved caves.

Whether you’re after a picturesque walk around stunning grounds, or seeking something a bit more intriguing, the history of the city covers every aspect.

Bars

Nottingham’s collection of bars is diverse and the city is home to some of quirkiest establishments around, including the likes of Coco Tang, Pepper Rocks and Hockley Arts Club, to name a few.

Wander down the city’s winding cobbled streets, and you can find many hidden gems and independent restaurants – it’s also home to England’s oldest inn, nestled beneath the cliff on which the castle stands, and the views from the outside are incredible.

Nightlife

Whilst it’s evident we are all excited to get back to the dancefloors again, Nottingham is a great port of call for a night out on the tiles. This diverse city is home to an extensive range of clubs and bars, covering all kinds of music genres – from RnB to indie, pop to rock, the choices are endless. Nottingham is also home to the famous ‘Rock City’, renowned for being the UK’s leading live music venue and club.  From club nights to live gigs, we are excited to see it restored back to its former glory, once restrictions are lifted.

Sports

Nottingham is renowned as a sporting hub and is home to Motorpoint arena, Trent Bridge Cricket Club, Nottingham Forest and Notts County Football Club – so whether its football, cricket or ice hockey you want – Notts has you covered.

Shop

If you’d rather spend a day perusing the shops, Notts is home to the likes of John Lewis, Flannels, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, as well as The Victoria Centre arcade which houses a variety of retail brands. Many independent hidden gems can be found down the streets just off Market Square, and the Lace Market. One of our favourites include White Rose – a chain of eight vintage fashion boutiques dotted around the city, selling retro items, all in aid of a good cause.

Cuisine Culture

Nottingham’s buzzing restaurant scene offers everything from Italian to Asian fusion, American and beyond, with the likes of Oscar & Rosie, Mowgli and Sexy Mamma Loves Spaghetti – from street food vendors, to fine dining – the city has you covered in terms of dining for all kinds of occasions.

Riverside Views

Running alongside the River Trent, just a fifteen-minute walk from the city is the picturesque Victoria Embankment, with sweeping views of the river and easy connection to great walks along the canal path and to country parks such as Colwick and Holme Pierrepont.

The riverside area is currently undergoing vast regeneration, with several developments under construction such as The Yacht Club, Trent Bridge Quays and The Waterside Apartments, providing central waterside living options for all, nestled in between West Bridgford and the city.

Transport Links

With a tram line running through the heart of Nottingham, rest assured if you’re running late, a tram will only be a few minutes away, ready to transport you to the other side of the city in no time. Offering an airport, trainline and extensive bus routes, there are plenty of travel options for commuters, and trains run from Nottingham to London regularly, the fastest route being an hour and 32 minutes.

*https://www.thehrdirector.com/business-news/covid19/covid-19-accelerates-migration-from-london-as-1-6m-plan-moves-out-of-the-capital/
*Analysis of the ONS’s “Internal migration: by local authority and region, five-year age group and sex” dataset, published 24th June 2020 and covering the period 2014-2019

The importance of responding to new consumer buying habits

As a Nottingham-based PR agency, we are always looking at evolving consumer attitudes and buying habits, so we can ensure that our client content and marketing strategies work in reaching the right people and resonating with target markets.

Consumer buying habits are changing now more than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic, and consumers are seeking more from brands than just simply products or services.

We’ve rounded up some of the top things that businesses can be doing at the moment to go the extra mile in terms of PR, marketing and social media efforts.

Let people know about your CSR activity

COVID-19 has affected everyone in different ways, and people are looking at how brands have responded. Did you support the NHS or emergency services? For example, our client 200 Degrees donated 1,000 acetate sheets to create vital PPE, as featured in the Mirror.

Maybe you donated to a charity who was struggling? Here at Jennie Holland PR, we have been supporting local charity Footprints CEC, offering PR services for three months for free.

CSR has always been a key part of business, but more and more people are looking to see what businesses are doing ongoing, especially through times of hardship. If your business has done something good or charitable, you should be letting people know, shout about it on social media or tell press, as it further highlights and promotes the causes that you are trying to help.

Offer added value

Consumers are looking for more than just a single product or service now. They want to trust that what you are offering as a company is both high quality and of good value. Throughout lockdown many people have been looking to better themselves through online courses or reading.

Webinars and online panels are also increasingly becoming more popular, and taking part in them is a great way to position yourself as an industry leader, even if it’s just hosted internally.

Why not post top tips on your social media or a series of blogs on your website to advise and help customers?

Let consumers know your plans as soon as possible

The pandemic has shaken up how a lot of businesses operate, for better and for worse, with any initial year-long PR and marketing strategies likely to be out the window and last-minute reactive opportunities on the rise.

With changes happening so rapidly, it’s important to inform consumers of your plans and next steps as soon as you know them to ensure that you are keeping your customers regularly updated, especially on your social media channels. Long-term followers will be thrilled to see that your business is back up and running, and with things changing so rapidly, consumers will be checking social media frequently for the latest updates.

If you are reopening your business for takeaway services or even have plans to reopen safely to the public, tell consumers on social channels and by reaching out to media. 

Increase your online visibility

With more and more people spending time online, now is a good time to work on your SEO strategy to ensure your business is getting maximum visibility online. As well as providing website audits, we specialise in achieving ‘backlinks’ – these links act as a vote of confidence from other websites which works to increase your position on the search engine. Google has confirmed that backlinks are one of the top three ranking factors in SEO.

Whatever direction your business is going in, communication is key. From using social media to the advantage of your business, to regularly liaising with media, and updating your website with good, regular content – it’s important to get the right messages for your business out there.

Contact Jennie Holland PR today to find out how we can help you.