26 May, 2010
As a student looking at a possible future in PR, I knew that it would be a competitive industry to get into. Considering this, I thought that the best way to make myself more appealing to the PR market would be to undertake some PR work experience and thankfully I knew someone to place me in the right direction, that being with EML.
Before I started my work experience with EML I was petrified! This due to the fact that I was unsure as to whether or not I would be able to undertake the tasks given to me, how well I would get on with people in the company and whether I would impress. However, I can honestly say that throughout my whole 4 weeks of being here I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and learnt a lot about the PR industry. I was given worthwhile tasks that I found interesting and I feel like I actually learnt something from doing them. These included researching journalists through through various tools, which I was intrigued by as I didn’t have a clue as to how PR companies went about contacting the vast amount of journalists in the world. I was also given the privilege of being allowed to come along to witness a pitch given by EML to a possible client. This gave me an insight into how PR companies need to sell themselves and made me realise that I really need to brush up on my presenting skills! Going along to meet a journalist was also different and interesting, as I got to understand how EML has to maintain a keen interest from journalists.
What made it so much easier for me to find it interesting and worthwhile was the fact that I worked with such friendly, easygoing staff (not that they slack on the job!). I felt comfortable with asking questions, which is something that a lot of newcomers can struggle with.
Given the chance again, I would grab it with both hands and I would definitely recommend work experience to any student, purely to get a taster of what work life is actually like and whether they would actually enjoy their prospective career. EML has been brilliant with providing me with work experience and like I have said before, everything I have taken part in has given me a much better idea of how PR works. It’s a lot different learning about PR to actually working in it, in a good way.
I must also mention that all EML staff are immense cooks and so you can’t be afraid of eating plenty of food if you work with them!
*Unfortunately EML is not currently in a position to accept any more work experience requests
22 March, 2010
It seems yet another Nestlé hate campaign has caught the eye of journalists. Not content with making me fat, the international choccie-peddler has been busy censoring critics on its Facebook page, only to cause a firestorm of indignation and attract massive attention to the issues criticised.
I’ve always thought of these Nestlé campaigns as being a bit like Jennifer Aniston movies:
1) They simply won’t go away. They keep cycling around long after you would have thought everyone would have grown tired of them. And terrible publicity never seems to kill them.
2) They all seem bizarrely familiar.
3) They often involve the poorly-thought-through involvement of z-list celebrities.
4) They tend to be surprisingly well-orchestrated and popular.
5) They usually revolve around something sickly-sweet, but ultimately make you feel sad for humanity.
Consider that metaphor laboured.
(Incidentally, as part of our recruitment process at EML Towers we usually ask interviewees to prepare a talk on a notable PR disaster. The boss has often lamented that the Nestlé/African powdered baby milk episode is the one incident that keeps being cited over and over. So be warned…)
While we must be careful not to appear to disrespect the weighty issues involved in the Nestlé debate(s), I suspect Nestlé may have become an institutionalised scratching-post of the anticapitalist and environmental movements, in a similar way to MacDonalds and Nike. They’re a big target. I’m sure there are plenty of other lower-profile companies doing these things.
Anyway, there are some simple lessons to be derived from the Nestlé Facebook page. It’s all too easy to fan the flames of hostile sentiments on social networks. That is, after all, why they call it ‘flaming’. So make sure the people that run the account are Social Media PR-savvy, and that you’re not going to attract undue attention by deleting unwanted comments.
See Digital Inspiration and the excellent PRdisasters.com for further PR observations on this episode.
19 March, 2010
How could we pass up this one? As reported by The Guardian and The Singularity Hub, pesky scientists in Tokyo, (where else!), have developed a fully-autonomous robot journalist.
Weren’t GM crops and identi-sheep enough? Damn you science… I think Dr Malcolm from Jurassic Park had it right.
Blah blah... scientists busy wondering if they 'could'... never stopped to think whether they 'should'.. 'chaos theory'... something something
If I was in a clever mood I’d suggest this story represents the natural evolution of what journalist Nick Davies in ‘Flat Earth News’ refers to as ‘churnalism’.
The idea behind this phenomenon is that journalists, with increasing financial and time pressures; are effectively reduced to machine-like roles, endlessly churning out many unchecked cookie-cutter stories.
But I’m not feeling clever, so here instead is a picture of ED209.
Do you mind if I Twitter this interview?
I don’t think it’s going to catch on.