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A psychology student's view of PR

July, 2013

Psychology student Megan Laverick-Smith, 20, provides an insight into her work experience at Kent PR agency Maxim.

My work experience at Maxim was down to Philip, who so kindly agreed to let me be part of the team for a week at the beginning of July.

I’m currently a student at the University of Sussex, studying psychology, with only one year left. My particular interest is how media can be used as a tool of persuasion and the process through which people can be influenced.

Public relations taps into these topics, and I was hoping to get a feel of what PR was really like. The people at Maxim really did give me a feel for all the aspects of PR and not only that, they taught me essential skills and tips for the industry.

Social media for business

At the beginning of the week I sat in on a meeting with Visit Kent on the use of social media for businesses, specifically twitter. This opened my eyes into how Twitter and other social networks can not only be used for leisure purposes but also a way to promote businesses, develop relationships with clients and even find new clients that they may not normally reach. I genuinely never knew the scope to which Twitter could be used and what it could provide and I'm now a newly converted Tweeter, thanks to Rachel’s influence and tips.

Over the next few days, everyone in the office gave me a little taster of the work they do for all their different clients. I firstly wrote a press release for Ardo, which I have never attempted to do before, but under the fantastic teaching and guidance of Simon, my first attempt was not a complete shambles.

Writing for newsletters

I was then able to try a completely different style of writing, as Alison gave me several articles to write for the Kings Hill newsletter. The ability of Maxim to produce creative, and interesting articles on such a regular basis, whilst also creating a strong relationship between the community and the client, was truly impressive.

I also was involved in some market research, planning the newsletter for Maxim and being involved with the press releases for London Arrays’ official opening, where David Cameron was present.

The wide range of activities that the team at Maxim is able to do with such efficiency and efficacy, without losing the quality is amazing. At the same time as doing all these tasks for numerous clients, they made time to sit down, answer all my questions and even give me feedback on the articles I had written. This has given me invaluable experience and has allowed me to develop skills, which I will undoubtedly use in my future.

I really appreciate all the time they put aside, amongst their many deadlines, to help me and make sure I really did make good use of my time at Maxim.

I wish to say a big thank you to everyone at Maxim for being so kind and welcoming. I have learnt so much and have had a brilliant insight into the world of PR.

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