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Studying PR Vs working at Maxim

January, 2013

Rebecca Briant, a second year public relations student at Leeds Metropolitan University, shares her thoughts on how her studies compare to work experience at Maxim.

I am actively encouraged to find work placements to further my studies and gain real practical experience of the PR industry. I therefore wanted to gain some agency experience, and Maxim seemed the perfect fit.

Although my first day was delayed by two days due to the snow, once I made it into the office, I learnt a lot.

At university, we learn about the PR world: how to devise a campaign, the finance behind a PR agency, and the psychology of communication. I can confirm however, there is no better way to learn than by practical experience.

Of course, I have previously written press releases. Being a bit rusty at them, I was a little worried that I would simply be left to my own devices and told to write a release for a client. However, that was not the case. Whatever job I have been given, I have been fully briefed and encouraged to ask questions at every opportunity. One of the releases I enjoyed writing most was a draft for Manston Airport and its new range of flights that offer passengers over 130 worldwide destinations, which will be used alongside the launch event.

Writing press releases was just one of the tasks I was given. I also undertook work including research (’72 hours in New York’ being my favourite!), phoning various media contacts requesting their RSVP to a launch event, and creating a media list.

I was also given a tour of The Kent & Sussex Courier newspaper, organised by Andrew and Rachel, which was valuable as I was able to take an insight into the world of journalism. The link between PRs and journalists became even clearer for me.

There is only so much you can learn by sitting in a lecture theatre, through making notes from PowerPoint presentations. While, the theory is extremely vital, physically working in an agency for a week has enabled me to experience the day-to-day goings on and the working environment.

My week at Maxim has flown by, and I’d like to thank the team for an enjoyable time where I have learnt a lot. I have been fully welcomed and felt like part of the team. Even the commute hasn’t put me off!

posted in: public relations, students’ views,

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