“So what will you actually be doing?” My father asked, with a critical look on his face. It’s not his fault, he’s a mechanic you see and sometimes he finds it difficult to appreciate written work, especially if you can’t see the results immediately.
It was even tougher to explain to my Nan, who abruptly announced, “What’s PR then? I thought you were going to be a news reader like on the telly.” Hmm, this was never going to be easy.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this scenario or be the first to say it, but trying to explain what PR is can be tricky, especially to an 81-year-old lady who is from another world entirely.
So I tried to explain it in a way she’d understand, ‘Well Nan I write news stories directed at newspapers but they don’t necessarily have to use it.’ No luck with that so I continued, ‘well it’s a bit like advertising, because it publicises companies but unlike advertising you don’t have to pay to use the space.’ If I sat with her all night I’m sure she still wouldn’t understand, fortunately my father did after we discussed it over dinner.
The Unsworth Sugden team are a whole lot more helpful and so far I’ve had a look inside the company toolbox, (as I’ve carefully explained to my mechanic of a father).
And at the moment I’m perfecting changing the tyres to keep the vehicle moving (writing press releases) before I can move onto tuning up the engine – aka suggesting new ideas to clients. And I’m pleased to be in the surroundings of a dedicated team that I don’t have to use constant metaphorical descriptions with all the time.
The team made me feel right at home from the word go and I was especially pleased when I met Bethan, who did exactly the same university course as me- phew! I wasn’t the only journo who now practices the dark arts. I can now safely report that PR is not nearly half as evil as my lecturers lead me to believe.
During my time studying broadcast journalism I read articles on the internet like “Why PR gives you cancer,” and other blogs designed to scare you away from the industry. But I couldn’t be moved in my ambition and so I immersed myself in all things PR -which I believe made a real difference to my success in getting the job.
With youth/graduate unemployment at it’s highest ever level, I do realise that I’m lucky to have a job in one of the most competitive industries, although I cannot deny I tried my hardest to get it.
It’s never been easier to promote yourself online and because I tackled some of the big sites like twitter and youtube this enabled me to do my own PR and I was now evidently creative to the company. It turns out that my youtube channel worked wonders on the chairman of the company, Steve Sugden, who agreed with Director of PR Hannah Elwell that I would be a suitable candidate, judging by my work.
My advice to unemployed graduates would be to become the person you want to be and to showcase your talent in as many ways as possible, shout from the rooftops if you need to - and you might just get noticed…