Our most recent work experience placement saw DCA host Saltash sixth form student Jenny John. Jenny sought us out because she’s keen to pursue a career in PR – so we asked her to explain why the industry caught her interest, and what she learnt from her week with us.
By Jenny John, a year 12 student at Saltash Community School.
I am a sixth form student at Saltash, currently studying sociology, English language and media studies. I had been considering going into a career in journalism for years until I got told about PR. I was interested in working with clients to publicise what they do in a positive way via social media, press releases and other platforms. PR agencies also get to organise events and think up campaigns which just sounded amazing and fun. Unfortunately, it’s one of those sectors which isn’t very well known. Whenever I got asked about my future career, no one would know what it was, and even Google wasn’t much help explaining. It was as if the only people who knew about it were in the sector.
I have always enjoyed writing – either creatively or essay based – so after hearing about what they do I was determined to find out more about the industry. And that’s why I came on my work experience to DCA PR in Plymouth, trying to work out what it’s all about.
I have written a lot of (draft) blog posts for clients’ websites this week, which was not an aspect of writing I would have initially thought a PR executive would do; I think it just didn’t cross my mind that writing blogs was part of the package.
An important factor I had to consider when writing these blog posts was the tone of voice that the client wanted to put across. Different companies have different tones of voice depending on their audiences and the focus of their business. One could be quite relaxed and casual, another more formal. Getting my head around this wasn’t too tricky and it was actually really nice to adapt my writing for different clients.
Press releases are a more traditional PR tactic, but still a major part of the job. Companies issue press releases to gain publicity, for example to introduce something/someone new. This is such an interesting thing to write and requires a more professional style of writing which is completely different to the blogs. I like that the writing gets switched up as then you don’t get bored.
Social media is now a huge aspect of PR and such a good way to talk to the public. I have written posts for Twitter, Facebook and taken pictures to post on stories for Instagram for different clients which was extremely fun. One of the reasons I chose PR was so I could bring more personality to a job and express myself, and this was often the case when I was writing content for social media as it had a more personable tone of voice.
I also like that you get to work very closely with clients: you’re able to get to know them and form a relationship with them, which is nice as I like meeting and working with new people.
PR is an extremely exciting sector and it seems as though when I finally go into the industry, I will thoroughly enjoy it. I feel like there will always be something new to work on and there will be more and more added to it as time goes on. I have found my week with DCA very informative and it has made me even more desperate to be a part of it.