An intern’s perspective

As we look for a new Intern (click here more details about applying!), we’ve asked Jordyn Rankin our most recent Intern, to reflect on her experience.

 

So Jordyn, what did you expect from your internship & what was the reality of your internship experience?

I honestly didn’t know what to expect from interning with Pursuit Communications, I guess that’s because this was my first ever intern experience. So, I went into this with an open mind and an eagerness to learn, even though I knew it would be challenging, yet it would also be very valuable for my future in the PR industry.  

The PR industry is definitely portrayed in a glamorous light and I thought that I would step into this internship with an abundance of knowledge from everything I have learned at University so far. I was quick to realise that a lot of what we are taught in the classroom plays only a small part in this fast-paced industry.

Jordyn, under 100 words – describe your interning experience… 

The reality of my experience, over the 10 months I was with Pursuit proved that practical experience in the PR industry is so important whilst studying at University. I got to see first hand all the time, effort and hard work that goes into having a PR business in order to be successful. I know I have a lot more to learn, however interning with Pursuit has confirmed my passion for PR!

 

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Jordyn Rankin

 

With this in mind, do you think Intern experiences should count towards university credit points?

I think that every University should encourage more students to undertake internships because the benefits are endless. However, in my opinion, the most important benefit is that it gets your foot in the door, gets your name out there and is a way of networking and forming relationships, which is so important to do.

Real-life experience has personally given me a lot more confidence and motivation to succeed and now I’m able to add an internship on my resume, which is also a huge bonus. Brooke (Founder of Pursuit Communications and Central Coast Chronicle) has been an amazing mentor and from day one, I always felt supported in my work and my ideas. With her help, I can now go into my next internship or job interview with some real industry examples and knowledge that will set me apart from the rest.

Where do you see the PR industry moving in the next three to five years?

This is a very hard one to predict because of how fast the industry is evolving and how much the web and social media revolutionises the way the PR industry operates. Having also studied Marketing at Tafe I can definitely see both PR and Marketing complimenting each other and becoming more integrated. Utilising both of these disciplines is definitely proving the overall success of businesses today in reaching its target markets. As a result, I think there will always be a demand for experienced, result driven PR practitioners.

 

How so?

The PR industry is a lot more than just press releases and getting the word out to journalists. (If you’re still thinking that it’s just media releases, you really need to chat to Pursuit – some of the ideas Brooke comes up with for her clients are absolute “WOW-factor!”)

So following this line of thinking, PR is becoming more popular for businesses (well I think so!) because of the multitude of ways a message can be executed. PR isn’t advertising, nor is it like marketing. It’s all about storytelling and shaping an image of a certain product, service, event, or organisation. Therefore, PR gives businesses an exciting way to stay connected with their customers (both existing and potential) and an opportunity to educate the general public about what it is they do – in (perhaps) an unconventional way. 

Any tips for those considering starting an internship program?

The sooner you start interning the more you will get out of your degree and the more experienced you’ll be entering the workforce after University. You will learn so much more by gaining practical experience, so step out of your comfort zone, ask questions (there are no right or wrong questions) and make your resume stand out above the rest. 

Finally, interning is also a lot more than just showing up and doing what you’ve got to do. It’s about being proactive in the office, anticipating what might be happening and asking if you can help (go above and beyond!) it’s also about getting to know what other PR agencies are out there and what they’re all about so I highly recommend researching, talking to people and attending networking events!! It will hugely benefit you and your future as a PR practitioner during your time at University and also when you step foot into the real world.

Brooke’s note: Jordyn, thank you for what you added to Pursuit and to the launch of Central Coast Chronicle. You were here at a critical time for both businesses and your ability to adapt and “switch gears” from “PC” to “CCC” at a moment’s notice was very much appreciated. I wish you continued success with your studies and entering the workforce.

Top tips for WHAT TO DO at work Christmas parties

As event organisers, we’re in a good position to offer our opinion as to the “do’s” and “don’ts” of Christmas party behaviour!
It’s been a long year for the business and now it’s time to organise that well deserved Christmas party and celebrate the team’s successes.

While this is still a celebration, it is still an extension of the workplace and an opportunity for some team bonding with your colleagues and supervisors. So, keep in mind that good behaviour also goes a long way at these sort of events, otherwise it can result in being overlooked for promotions, or being the office gossip going into the New Year or even worse – losing your job!
Remember, you’re your own PR – so make sure the “news” is good when it comes to your post-party report.

Here are some tips to make sure you stay on the “nice” list at your Christmas party this year:

  • Dress appropriately: Remember this is still a work event, so make sure you are aware of the dress code expectations beforehand. Be sure to avoid anything too casual or revealing.  If in doubt, ask the event organiser or your supervisor.
    Watch your alcohol consumption: Reputation lasts a lot longer than a hangover does – as does anything captured on social media.
  • Stay in control of how much you’re drinking, you don’t want to be known as “the one who takes advantage of the free drinks” over engaging with others.
  • Make an effort: be sure to ‘mingle and jingle’ with as many people possible, not just the ones you speak to on a daily basis at work. Consider this as a networking opportunity.
  • Have fun! Christmas parties can still be a chance to have a great time, so don’t be dull – you don’t have to be a wallflower, you can have a great time while remaining sensible.

Keeping these tips in mind, it will also give you that rare chance to get to know those around the office who you don’t normally work with and develop good impressions which could also benefit you later on.

It’s all about that personal branding!

How to PR in 2019

It’s a hectic time of year, there are functions to attend, end of year reports to be completed not to mention all of your personal commitments. What’s the best way to get ahead in 2019? Read on… 
We’ve made a list why taking advantage of our new year offer from Pursuit will give you and your business the edge in 2019. 

  • We will create a tailored pitch for your business. It will be completed by PR professionals. All you have to do is provide some details as to what you would like Pursuit to promote to our extensive list of relevant media contacts.
  • Pursuit will enhance your business profile with these contacts 
  • It will give you the chance to receive one-on-one advice from the Pursuit team to improve your PR communications strategy
  • Pursuit will help your business gain media coverage, reach your target audience with a great platform to generate sales
    Overall, Pursuit will give your business that much needed and desired head start in the New Year.

NOW is the time to inspire your audience as to WHY they should engage with your business in 2019 and beyond and Pursuit Communications will help with just that.

Public Relations can make a huge contribution to the success of your business, so teaming with Pursuit in the lead up to the new year is the most cost-effective way to market your business. 

Let Pursuit generate the media attention and brand recognition your business deserves 2019. 

 

New Year package details

 

Writing news stories for radio

Our intern Jordyn is using her time at university to the absolute max!

Not only is she interning with Pursuit and our sister company – Central Coast Chronicle, she’s also interning at Newcastle radio station 2NUR.

 

Jordyn has detailed for us what goes into each news broadcast. It may surprise you!

 

“I have recently started undertaking an internship with 2NUR-FM radio and after only a couple of sessions, it astounds me how much work goes into each broadcast. The sessions I’ve had with the station have been quite varied. I’ve been writing news bulletins, making calls to get news grabs and reading media release after media release for the 12 pm, 1 pm, 2 pm news bulletins and the odd story for the following morning.

 

These tasks aren’t always smooth sailing and will often take time depending on the story. If you’re waiting on a call back from a person of interest for some news grabs, time really is of the essence and not something you can get back!

 

Last week I was working on a bulletin for the new waste collection service around the Hunter Valley area and was waiting on a call back from Council. By the time they called back, I had half an hour to get a 30-second bulletin prepared (or “up” as they say in the newsroom) for the 12 pm news along with a grab from the call recording. This can be quite stressful, especially since I had to report on the same issue for 1 pm and 2 pm bulletins and needing to re-word each bulletin as well as using a different grab for each broadcast. So there was some variety with the same story for our dedicated listeners.

 

I had another instance that same day where I didn’t get a call back for another story I was working on so I just had to take a quote and information from the media release and create an angle to make it sound interesting.

 

What worked in my favour was having a background in PR, my internship at Pursuit, meant I was prepared and could hit the ground running.

 

I have already found interning for 2NUR-FM to be a positive challenge, it’s exciting and I have definitely learnt a lot in such a short period of time.”

Productivity tips

Over on the Pursuit Communications Instagram account recently I shared tips on how I stay productive. (LINK)

  1. Don’t let the “E-mail Monster” control your day I prioritise emails – with categories /importance /urgency. 📧
    It keeps me on track (most of the time!) and the “email anxiety” levels to a minimum. I use different tags and then work through these according to the level of priority
  2. Pop it on silent – face down and get to work! Turning your mobile on to silent will help get the work done.
    If it helps, consider changing your voicemail message. State in your message the time you expect to return the call. Most people will understand!
  3. I 🧡 a good “to do” list
    It makes me feel organised and I can see at a glance what needs to be done.
    I break my lists down into clients and then prioritise. I highlight super important tasks and cross them off first!
    My lists are in my Kikki K planner, which goes EVERYWHERE with me.
  4.  Get up and move – your health comes first. I’m guilty of not doing this enough. I’ve recently bought a Fitbit to make sure I do move enough. Being sedentary is one of the “hazards” of my job. More often than not, I’m sitting looking at my laptop for hours on end. My Fitbit really has made a huge difference in reminding me to get up and move and achieve my daily goals. What do you do to get moving?
  5. I’m a calendar girl… 📆
    Not *that* sort of calendar girl 😝 – I put everything on my wall calendar and in my planner. No matter where I am I’ll always be able to plan and make appointments with a quick glance.

    I also colour code Birthdays,🎂 personal activities,🍾 and work duties.📝

 

So there you have it, my top five tips for productivity.

Remember to join me on Instagram to follow the #B2BPC (Back to Basics with Pursuit Communications) series! 

The improvements that have helped my Instagram presence

If you’re following Pursuit Communications on Instagram (if not, you’re missing out!!) you may have noticed our posts have changed tone.

Now, I’m not talking about the “tone” of voice, I’m speaking from a visual perspective.

I’ve changed the colour of the posts for a number of reasons, here I’ve listed the top three

  1. The “Pursuit Red” background (while I LOVE it) was just too harsh on the eye
  2. The pinkish tone I’ve chosen now, is feminine, it’s calmer, it’s “me”
  3. The new tone also allows me to include (and acknowledge) a greater selection of relevant and colour suitable posts from others in the Pursuit feed

I’m also undertaking a self-audit, testing new hashtags and constantly trying to improve our metrics.

So how has this helped my business Instagram presence?

Colours play a huge factor in engagement, as does the content (but that’s for another post!), I’d like to think what I’m offering is relatable, if not helpful and finally by being able to share other posts and connect with the people behind those posts, also allows for greater connection / network building.

There are so many elements to consider when creating a post on Instagram. It really does take time and effort.

If you’d like to know how we can help YOU with your social media presence, check out the range of services here. 

 

 

What makes a media release?

Over the coming days on Instagram we’re sharing just some of the components of a media release that will get noticed!

In coming up with this content, it reinforced to me what a multilayered “beast” the media release is.

Beyond the content, which is arguably the most important element, there’s so much more to a media release. JPEG image-4172F6698DF5-1

There’s the fact that you need to tailor it to HOW you’re distributing the release, there’s font consideration and so much more (we have allocated 10 days to it on Instagram!).

Do you need a media release for your business to share the news of a new product line in store?

Perhaps you’ve been selected for a local business award, certainly, THAT’s worth sharing!

Or maybe you’ve just managed to secure a top influencer online or a celebrity to promote your product!

Whatever it is, we can assist with your next media release. CLICK here to view how we can help. 

I look forward to sharing some tips with you and reading your feedback.

 

Guest Blog Interview: Sam Gardiner

The second guest blog interview is from Sam Gardiner. I met Sam at University (almost 16 years ago!) and since then we’ve not only been great mates and we’ve championed each other’s endeavors.

In the interview below, we discuss success, changing career paths and the fact that there is no such thing as an “average day”.

B:  Okay Sam, give me your elevator pitch… “Who is Sam Gardiner?”
S: I’m a creative at heart,  even at an early age, I found myself playing around on computers, creating and designing different things.. logos, brands, publications, labels, websites… I’ve always had an appetite for creativity. So when I completed high school I went into a BA comms at UWS (where we met!) with the idea to break into the advertising industry in some way.

I had this desire to feed my creative urge, however, I saw advertising as a cut-throat business which discouraged me greatly.  During this time, I took over my brother’s homebrewing kit, and from that moment on the die was cast. I decided to pursue a career in brewing. Once I had completed my BA comms I did a two-year graduate diploma in brewing, and subsequently worked a decade in the brewing industry.  Eventually, I found myself specialising in the setup and commission of new micro-breweries around the world.

After 10 years I decided to settle back in Australia and take a change in direction – I went back to my initial passion around creativity and now I work in a small advertising agency, in Sydney

B: So what’s your job and how does an average day look for you?
S: I’m “officially” a Production & Video Manager, but often there’s more to it than that.

My day revolves around wearing a range of different hats. Working for a small agency, I have my fingers in many pies when it comes to projects.

B: Yes, I find the same thing. No two days are ever the same!

S: Exactly! One moment I am out shooting a video, the next I’m designing a mock-up for a  website and liaising with programmers to bring that mockup into reality, then I may be managing the production of a trade magazine, or analysing data from a recent MailChimp campaign, or editing and producing our latest months content for Hello Foodservice, in between meeting with clients.

B: I find when it’s like that, it’s often hard to keep track of what day it is, because usually you’re always forward planning /working and then remembering the actual date is not (for example) November it’s September!

S: Yes!  I do find especially with travel thrown into the mix that the days fly by (pardon the pun!) and some days I leave with a headache, others I leave with a smile, but on the whole, I love what I do.
 

SG Blog photo

Sam Gardiner, Production & Video Manager

B: I think that’s important to love what you do. On that vein of thinking, what advice would you give someone?  

 
S: Don’t doubt your abilities when you look at others. A lot of people bluff. If you can deliver, that’s what will lead you to success.

B: Speaking of #Success (Which you know is a hashtag we champion!) what does success mean to you?

S: Success is in the eye of the beholder. Only you can gauge what is a success and what is not due to your own set of principles. Some people gauge earning a million bucks as a success, others gauge having a loving family at their side as a success. It’s subjective.

One thing I would say is that even something you may consider a failure is a success in a way as you can learn from it for next time.
If you do experience a failure, never give up.

Learn from it.
Move on.
Try a different route.
Eventually, you will succeed.

 

***

I’d like to thank Sam for his time and friendship. There’s more guest blog interviews coming soon, so stay tuned. 

If you missed our first guest blog interview with Intern Lani then CLICK HERE.

 

Three tips to take your Instagram account to the next level

If you’ve joined me over on Instagram you would have seen my three tips for taking your Instagram account to the next level. 

Here’s a wrap-up of what I covered.

  1. ROCK your biography. This is your chance to highlight what it is you do. Use strong words and make sure the link drives traffic to your product or service AND you’ve referred to it in your most recent post.
  2. Style your posts. Check out our feed as an example.  Keep it consistent, don’t make it too hard to replicate (remember you’re going to be using this style day-in and day-out!) and make sure it’s easy on the eye. No harsh colours or hard to read fonts. 
  3. Use other apps to UP your game. There are so many apps out there to make the most of your images. My current favourite app? Adobe Spark. It takes your images to the next level! 

 

If you like these tips and you’re trying to decide which channel best suits you sign up to the “Which Social Media Channel is for Me” service. Alternatively, if you’re looking for more direction on Instagram or Facebook why not sign up to our Social Media Audit.