04.05.17, by Robbie Collins
I started at Nelson Bostock about seven months ago and wanted to share my thoughts for anyone who was in a similar position to me. Joining a new company is a bit of everything … exciting, scary, exhilarating, fun, and more. And that can all be heightened when you’re a recent graduate or somebody looking for a new career path altogether.
On top of learning about your new role and the agency’s clients, you’ll also have to remember a seemingly endless number of names and faces. There are around 30 of us in NB, then another 25 in Fever, and then we have a Design team and Finance and HR… It feels like a lot, but actually you get to know people really quickly.
What’s more, it turns out PR never rests. It’s constantly moving and doesn’t stop to let a junior PR jump on-board at a convenient juncture. Instead, you’re thrust onto a series of accounts, deep into projects, pitches and ventures that can be both exiting and demanding. Tech PR also has the added benefit of being inherently intricate and is ever-changing.
So, it’s not easy. But, no one said it would be. Here are a few specific tips from my experience of starting out as a junior in PR:
- Say yes to stuff. What kind of stuff? A vast range, including tech innovation events, product launches, media drinks, PR networking events and more. The list goes on and on. Saying yes to these things will serve you well in three aspects 1. You’ll get to attend interesting events (such as awards ceremonies and tech showcase events) 2. You’ll be helping to support your team and 3. You’ll develop your own profile and learn invaluable networking and time-management skills. All these things are a crucial part of PR and will help you to learn, grow and progress.
- Use your voice. I do. Sometimes I make comments that go down really well, and other times not so well. Don’t dwell on the times it doesn’t go well – no-one is expecting lightning bolt insights which stop everyone in their tracks or strategy recommendations. And you learn by doing – if you don’t have an opinion, you’ll find it harder to learn. PR is largely about ideas and you’ll probably find a lot of yours are actually not that bad, maybe even great. Even from the smallest idea, you’ll find that you’ve helped to shape campaigns and generated a lot of buzz by being vocal and proactive. Of course, realise that there is a time and a place to use your voice but, within our office in particular, there is a ‘winning minds’ culture which pushes us to explore ideas, experiment, and use our voices to help deliver better work.
- Enjoy yourself. Culture is a big thing. For me, NBU is a great place with a unique culture. Relax (but also work hard) and enjoy yourself. People are a massive part of PR so be sure to get to know your new colleagues, join the football or netball team, go to brainstorms when it’s not your client involved, and enjoy the food shared round by staff returning from holiday or the local market. The company’s founders, Martin Bostock and Roger Nelson, built the company around the idea that you can do your work and also enjoy it. Today this very much rings true!