Guest Blog Post: Charlie Bowcock – Intern

Charlie interned at Pursuit at the end of 2017. Her drive and insights made Charlie an invaluable asset to the team.

Here I talk to Charlie about her experiences and future plans!

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

CB: “To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect but I surely was intimidated by the thought of it. It took a lot for me to even apply for internships because I didn’t think that I was enough. The idea of working with clients and contributing to the name that Brooke has built herself on the Coast with Pursuit Communications was not a task that I took lightly.

Coming into this role with this mentality, I thought that I would be a little out of my depth when it came to the practical knowledge that comes with this crazy industry. I felt like I had learnt so much theory at university but none of it had really prepared me for practical PR experience.

I agree, I think a lot of universities need to embrace an internship /placement program as part of their degree qualification. 

Yes! So true and now that I’ve experienced agency life the reality of my experiences interning here at Pursuit Communication were a lot less scary than I had originally thought.

A lot of the skills that I have learnt from working in other industries and during my degree are still applicable in PR work to be able to get the best results for Pursuit’s clients. I was surprised how much I relied on what, before interning here, I had assumed would be common sense for most. I have realised, during this experience that I have internalised much of what I had learnt at university into my everyday life but also, you cannot assume that others have that same common sense knowledge that I took for granted before coming into this role. I guess it is true what they say – you have to live and breathe this industry to do well and you (Brooke) have really instilled that in me during my time here.

Thanks Charlie! So say someone is feeling the same way you were before you started, sell them the benefits of participating in an internship program

CB: The biggest benefit of working at Pursuit Communications and under you (Brooke) is that you support your interns, their work and their ideas. I have been lucky in that from day one, Brooke had the confidence in me that I was maybe lacking in myself to get the job done.

Apart from the obvious benefits of having PR experience on your resume, this role has given me the ability to go into a job interview with examples of how I have helped achieve a positive outcome for a client. It has given me the confidence to know that I can succeed in this industry and I’m not going to lie to you, it is pretty damn fun!

So you’ve now completed your degree and heading out into the workforce – where do you see the PR industry moving in the next three to five years?
CB: I see this PR and marketing roles and functions becoming more and more integrated as businesses see and experience how beneficial a good PR practitioner can be, not only to their bottom line but also to the overall culture of the business itself. 

How So?

CB: PR is so diversified in how it functions on paper, but in practice, it really does take a village to raise a (campaign) baby. Good PR work requires the integrated knowledge of multiple people and perspectives to get a holistic picture of how a campaign should look and what will work for a public. With this in mind, I think the industry it will take a more interdisciplinary approach to PR practice.”

Any tips for those considering starting an internship program?

CB: “Take a leaf out of Nike’s branding and ‘Just Do It!’ That means getting completely out of your comfort zone, like when you are on a shoot and Brooke asks if you would mind being an extra (particularly when you get so nervous your organs feel like jelly).

Furthermore – there are no stupid questions, but there are definitely stupid answers. Do not be afraid to be a little extra, and always back yourself because if you don’t, why would anyone else?”

Thanks Charlie – appreciate your hard work and your dedication, it has been an absolute pleasure having you at Pursuit and I’d like to wish you all the very best in your future endeavours! 

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Charlie Bowcock – (seated right-hand side) taking part in photo-shoot for one of Pursuit’s clients in 2017

 

Guest blog interview: Sandy Cummins

Today’s Guest blog interview is with a past client of Pursuit’s – Sandy Cummins. We worked with Sandy and her team when they launched a business in the beautiful Daylesford region of Victoria, Australia.

We’ve stayed in contact over the years and I was thrilled to have Sandy’s contribution towards our guest blog series.

So, Sandy, tell me a bit about your new venture.

Sandy: We are floral artisans, embracing the perfect imperfections of nature to bring the scents, colours and wayward stems of naturally grown old-fashioned fragrant roses, herbs and foliage. With nearly 2000 rose bushes we supply cut roses to others and produce our own lavish arrangements.  Our arrangements tell a story through the secret language of flowers sourced, foraged and grown locally, ethically and sustainably on our picturesque property in Victoria’s pretty little country village of Trentham, in regional Victoria.

Oh my goodness, that sounds like the perfect way to tell a story! Can you tell me a bit more about the process?

Sandy: Our heritage roses are garden grown with minimal intervention with the help of bees, compost, sunshine and rain. Our full romantic blooms show the true colours of gentle natural agriculture and have heady scents, twisting stems and the occasional spot. As nature intended.

How very eco-friendly and what a great selling point!

For those who don’t know, how did you use PR for your previous business?

Sandy: In a prior floral business, we used PR for a product launch to create brand awareness.

So I’d love to hear, what do you believe are the benefits of PR?

Sandy: Integrated PR strategies provide both short and long-term opportunities.

I think this is so true, so many time, people are only aware of the results that come via securing media coverage, however deeper than this, is the relationships with media contacts and the long-term benefits of this relationship. Anything else? 

Sandy: Building brand/product awareness is crucial and takes time. The investment in PR v. traditional advertising provides much more value for money.

I agree Public Relations is one that takes time and is all about building brand awareness over time. 

If a mentee walked up to you and asked for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?

Always have an integrated strategy, continuously innovated and reinvent yourself and be true to your brand,  walk the talk – as authenticism is pivotal.

Define “Success”

The realisation of a dream which can be happily shared with others.

With “Success” in mind, what’s on your “work-plate” now?

A while ago, I stumbled upon an inspiring and informative book by investigative journalist Amy Stewart called Flower Confidential. It described the global floral industry today and the perils to both humanity and the land of the large-scale commercial flower industry.  Amy’s book was to floristry a little like what the film “Food Inc”  was to the food industry. So, in my mind, the seed was sown; a vision to establish a “slow” flower movement in Australia – local, seasonal, heritage varieties, grown collaboratively by local land-owners with a similar philosophy using sustainable practices. A flower farm consortium – was the ultimate dream!  “Consortium Botanicus” is now the reality. Consortium Botanicus encourages flower farmers, farmer-florists, and florist-designers right across Australia to join via their website www.consortiumbotanicus.com.au Membership is free and the momentum is building!

Well done! That sounds fab, lets hope others follow suit, do keep us updated!

Sandy, is there anything you’d like to share with us about upcoming projects (even a hint?)

Sandy: Our new bespoke accommodation launches very soon which provides guests with an immersive spa style experience combining our rose, herb and flower beds, local artisanal culinary delights and a level of comfort and style enabling true relaxation and rejuvenation.

Finally,  if you wouldn’t mind indulging us here, how did Pursuit Communications benefit your business?

Sandy: Pursuit Communications provided extensive media opportunities as well as assisted in the strategy and execution of a major launch event in regional Victoria. Compiling goody-bags, assisting with speeches and media relations – the activities Pursuit undertook assisted with the launch activity.

Thank you, Sandy, for your time and I’m thrilled that we’ve stayed in touch long after the campaign we worked on with you finished. 

Interested in finding out how Pursuit can assist your business in 2018?

Contact us TODAY.

We have FREE 20 minute consultations, where we’ll offer our insights and best recommendations for your business.

 

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.

 

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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.

 

First guest interview – Lani Beaven

I’ve been wanting to share some interviews with those who are part of the Pursuit Communications universe.

In this first interview, I spoke to our current Intern Lani Beaven.

The Pursuit internship program began in 2010 since then over a dozen individuals have come to Pursuit, to learn what life is like working in a boutique public relations agency.

What did you expect from your internship? & what was the reality of your internship experience?

LB: “I guess heading into an internship in the PR industry you expect all of the glitz and glam that you see on shows like The Hills, however, it was a bit more of a rude awakening. Instead, you find yourself working, for literally nothing. But the old saying goes – you’ve gotta give a little to get a little!

I expected to walk into this industry with an abundance of knowledge that I had accumulated over my University degree and to be a professional from the get-go.

The reality of my internship experience, so far, has proved how much further I need to grow and how much more I need to learn as an individual. It’s showing me that a lot of time, effort and hard work needs to be put in, in order to be successful in this industry.”

Benefits of participating in an internship program?

LB: “Brooke is an amazing mentor and great role model for young people wanting to make their way into the PR/media industries. (edit: aww shucks Lani!)

It’s amazing to see someone flourish in success and I can honestly say that the benefits of participating in an internship program are endless. Real life industry experience, work history to list on your resume, starting to network and build relationships within the industry and the added bonus of motivation to succeed!”

Where do you see the PR industry moving in the next three to five years?
LB: “I remember reading in one of my textbook’s that PR industry professionals are being told to forget everything they ever knew about the way traditional PR works. The industrialisation of the web and social media has revolutionised the way the world and the PR industry operates.

How So?

LB: “I can see the industry moving into a more popular field, which we can already see happening and the services that PR professionals offer greatly expanding to include things like social media, web development, video/photography..”

Any tips for those considering starting an internship program?

LB: “One of the greatest tips that someone once told me was to start participating in internship programs as soon as you begin your degree!

 

Lani

Lani Beaven, Pursuit’s current Intern

 
By the time you graduate you would have an abundance of practical experience to list on your resume.Make sure that you have a resume that stands out, above and beyond everyone else. We are working in a creative industry so show a little bit flair, add some , maybe a pop of scented paper (thank you, Elle Woods!).
Research local businesses in your area and make sure you know what the company does and how they operate. Find who their PR guru is and get in contact with them.
Don’t be afraid to attend networking events, this is where you will meet people who can offer you support in landing an internship that you’ll love.”

I’d like to thank Lani for her contributions to Pursuit week in and week out.

To my previous interns, Pursuit’s success is your success. You’ve all contributed in your own way and for that, I thank you.

If you’d like details on the Pursuit Communications story, I’m available for speaking opportunities. CLICK HERE for more information.

Insights into public relations

I’ve been thinking about the best way to highlight the way public relations (PR) & social media works in the world, is to talk to those who use it / work in the industry / study it and employ ME to assist their business with their PR and social media goals.

So, over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some insights from some of those in my networks to show YOU how PR and social media works.

If there’s a question you’d like me to address, please pop it in the comments below.

I’d love to answer your questions, or have one of our guest bloggers answer it for you!