When I first began my life in PR the one thing I was certain of was that I had no idea what I was signing up for.
From my previous career as a sub-editor in newspapers, I knew there would be some press release and article writing, but otherwise I had more idea of what it wouldn’t be: I was pretty certain the glitzy parties and long boozy lunches were a myth.*
So, on my first day at Maxim Towers I sat at my desk, nervously reading the company handbook and wondering what work I’d end up doing. I didn’t have long to wait and my morning soon flew by in a whirl of proof reading and editing until I finally plucked up the courage to make my first round of tea in the mid afternoon. Things progressed from there.
From proofing and editing to writing a range of articles and press releases and helping to set up the Kentcentric blog there was rarely a quiet moment, and in just a few weeks I found myself in a supporting role on a new project to publicise a prestigious awards ceremony.
Then came the moment I’d been waiting for: a new client whose project perfectly matched my personal skillset. I began researching their area of expertise and set about writing them a new website. Within a few weeks I became highly knowledgeable in large-scale international logistics – only ask if you’re prepared to sit and listen to me excitedly witter on for a good few hours. It’s amazing the unexpected subjects you can get excited about.
My first evening event came a couple of months later, when I was invited to support one of my colleagues at an anniversary exhibition. Hearing the speeches and meeting everyone involved was fascinating and ever since I’ve tried to invite myself along to any events Maxim is involved in. Yes, the canapés are part of the appeal but mainly because work events – even if they are the simple opening of an office – are a great way to really find out about our clients, not just for the project of the day but also to meet them as individuals and develop a greater understanding of them and their work so I can see how my work can help theirs.
Once I’d got these initial first experiences under my belt I’d assumed work would take on a more even keel, but a year later I’m yet to encounter two days that are the same.
If a year ago you’d told me all the different experiences I’d have had I wouldn’t have believed you. Events have included hosting the public exhibition for a solar farm (status: application approved); arranging a photoshoot for a lion; shadowing a celebrity on a school visit; producing a tourism newspaper; taking a boat trip tour of an offshore wind farm; delving into the world of peas; and going on safari to support the opening of a boutique hotel.
On top of all this it’s part of my job to tell people about these things, through press releases, articles and social media. What could be more fun than sharing all these great experiences with others and encouraging them to get involved or find out more about the community around them?
I may not be going to glamorous parties every night, but my job is anything but ordinary.
* There have been a couple of parties, most have involved me running around after a photographer asking how to spell people’s names, as for lunches – one, where I got food poisoning and spent the next day sick and feeling very sorry for myself.
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