Practice makes perfect, five weeks at Havas PR
Nothing rings truer to me after my five weeks work experience at Havas PR than the cliché “practice makes perfect”. Not in the sporting sense of the word practice, but rather in the pursuit of a vocation. The study of distinguished intellects and theorists is all well and good up to a point, but to appreciate PR practice fully and how it influences everyone, everywhere, I have discovered you must first immerse yourself in the industry.
This may seem like a bold statement for someone to make who is only a relative novice in the industry to make, be assured though that the five weeks’ experience I had was not just twiddling my thumbs. Rather I was made to feel like a part of the PR machine from the offset, being included in a topical brainstorming session on my first day, which allowed me to really get my creative head on. I can pin point individual turning points that have altered my entire outlook of the business world.
Everyday when I first got into work I would read one broadsheet and one tabloid newspaper, the first few days I sifted through looking for client relevant articles. It was not until midway through my second week that actually I understood fully the importance of this daily ritual. In this digital age the modern consumer’s needs and wants are developing at a rapid rate due to the ease of information exchange, it is imperative to be one step ahead by being able to anticipate change by monitoring the media closely.
My appreciation of the modern consumer grew as I was a delegated research tasks such as writing community reports. I took great pleasure in finding relevant information that would be able to be used in order to generate good publicity for a client. This was a turning point in my understanding of PR; I witnessed successful brands adding value by connecting with consumers emotionally. Thinking about my own life it is easy to look cynically upon those companies trying to force feed me information about how hard my life is without the new bigger or better (or smaller and lighter) life changing advancement.
I was initially daunted with being faced with communicating with journalists, I soon found that this is part and parcel of the role and as long as you communicate useful information effectively with the most appropriate third party then you are likely to be well received. I found Gorkana to be an invaluable tool in the PR weaponry. It was obvious from working at such a successful agency as Havas that clear and concise communication is imperative to building relationships with clients and their customers.
The diverse nature of the industry and the eclectic mix of very prominent clients at Havas made the experience both challenging and thoroughly enjoyable. I would like to thank the whole team for making me feel so welcome and taking the time to develop my PR related skills.
The 3 key sentiments that I’m going to take forward with me are:
Creativity, research and communication.
(And the ability to flip a pancake!)