05 Reflecting on my first year in the PR industry

By Yana Miladinova (PR Account Executive) 

I started my placement in June 2017 as a PR & Marketing Intern at Red Setter – B2B agency working across the design and creative industry.

In the beginning, I managed the business database and worked alongside the Editorial Director on the marketing and SEO plan of Red Setter. I was glad that my recommendations were well received and appreciated, and since then I have made an impact on the agency. With time, I started managing the agency’s social media accounts and website. I increased the Twitter followers by 26% and LinkedIn followers by 110% so far. (yay!) I achieved this by following relevant people in the industry, writing blog posts and promoting those on social media. In September I was interviewed by a journalist from Response Source about my experience at Red Setter – it was a great way to look back at the past few months and reflect on my internship.

One of my biggest projects so far has been the research and analysis of social media channels. These included the platforms Design Week and Campaign Top 100 agencies as well as interviews with 50 leaders in the industry via a survey (which got us a new client!). The findings were used in our “Guide to Agency Growth through Social Media”. I also presented them to second-year digital communications students as a guest speaker at Bournemouth University.

In January, I was promoted to PR Account Executive and I started working alongside the PR Account Directors on our clients. I am tracking coverage, creating media lists and quarterly reports, building forward features calendars, finding relevant newsjacking/media opportunities and drafting press releases. As we work with clients from all over the world, I gained valuable knowledge about the American, Australian, Italian and Asian media. I’ve been talking to events’ organisers to find speaker opportunities for our clients in the UK and the USA. I have also pitched press releases to the design and marketing media and have secured coverage in The Drum, Creative Boom, Transform, Marketing Communications News and several packaging publications. The overall readership of the coverage was more than five million. I often go to conferences and industry events, representing the agency and then write posts for our website.

Writing blog posts for the agency’s website encouraged me to create my own blog and capture my experience during the internship. Few of my posts have been featured on PR Place and the PRCA website and it was very exciting to be recognised by such respected organisations.

  1. Three words to describe your placement search: Preparation for graduate-research (almost three words!)
  2. What did you find the most helpful in your placement search: Talking to final-year students, who have already been through this.
  3. Three words to describe your placement: Such a Blast!
  4. Most interesting part of your placement: Aside from writing press releases and pitching stories to journalists, I really enjoyed going to industry events and meeting not only fellow PR people, but artists, designers and illustrators.
  5. Most enjoyable aspect of your placement: Representing the agency at industry events and then writing blog posts about them. I went to Brighton SEO, TEDxBrighton, several Glug and PRCA events.
  6. What gave you the most satisfaction during placement year: Securing coverage for our clients in top-tier titles. Seeing that all those hours spent researching publications and drafting press releases paid off – an amazing feeling!
  7. Two tips for future placement students: Don’t be afraid to contact agencies, which are not advertising placements (I secured my internship through LinkedIn) and don’t sell yourself short – you probably have more experience than you think.
  8. How has your placement helped focus your future plans: I LOVE working with a variety of clients, so I will probably stay in the agency side of PR for now.

I cannot wait to see what will happen in the next three months before I go back to University.

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