The definition of PR
I feel as though the definition of PR is one of those illusive terms many people actually know the meaning of, yet it has a way of sounding assertive so further explanation is not usually required in casual conversation. This was certainly at the back of my mind as I arrived at Havas PR Manchester at the beginning of July to begin a one month placement. I was hit by slight nausea as the lift pinged its way through the floors when I thought, “Well I know what PR is but I don’t know what it does…” Fantastic start then. I rationalised that my totally irrelevant degree in Modern Languages would hopefully have given me, at the very least, some transferable skills- so all might not be lost!
I was pleased to be thrown straight into the deep-end in the first few days: being trained on regionalising press releases so they are relevant and newsworthy, updating client mailers (i.e. making cheese and ham toasties sound positively Michelin star worthy!) etc. So, when Granny rings and asks me to clarify, for the third time, what exactly PR entails, will my two weeks at Havas have equipped me with a substantial answer, finally?
I felt fairly confident on this up until last Wednesday when I found myself on the wrong side of the check-in desks at Manchester Airport, looking unconvincingly at two Victorian passports and being told to “Direct confused face number two straight into the camera, please.” I’m still looking, but that part was definitely not in PR for Dummies! All joking aside, it was a great experience to see how ideas come to life in a photo shoot and put meaning to the expression ‘A picture paints 1000 words’-just one of the many things I will take with me from my experience at Havas.
It was almost the perfect partnership; Manchester Airport supporting the Royal Exchange’s ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ as Phileas Fogg and Passepartout, in their typical Victorian get-up, did handstands along the skywalk and nearly ended up in the luggage compartment on a flight to goodness knows where . Airport security sense of humour was clearly on top form! Suffice to say, after witnessing the creativity and hilarity of the characters first-hand (and a suitable reward for my modelling debut!), I definitely want to see the play… hint… hint…