15 September 2015 | Grads Corner | Guest Author
Last summer I graduated from Nottingham Trent University having studied BA Broadcast Journalism. After three years of hard work I was elated when I graduated with a 2.1.
Whilst I had been busy completing news days and law essays I hadn’t really cast my mind to job applications. I was fortunate enough to land a job in the consumer advisory team at J&J but, I knew I had a passion for PR.
I decided to bite the bullet and handed in my notice after six months.
I was lucky enough to secure a highly coveted four-week placement at PR agency Taylor Herring.
During my placement I assisted with an array of campaigns including; a life-size chocolate recreation of Benedict Cumberbatch, for UKTV, the creation of two 10ft teddy bears by William Hill to celebrate the birth of the Royal Baby, and a 15ft version of Thunderbird 4 which made its way down the River Thames to mark to launch of ‘Thunderbirds are go’ on ITV.
Having enjoyed four-weeks with the agency, I left certain that PR was for me. After weeks of job applications, I began to grow tired of blanket rejections and radio silence.
Often upon hearing of my situation, others would remark “oh you just need to get your foot in the door”. That is when I decided to do my own PR stunt, after all, I wanted to pursue a career in PR so why not do my own PR stunt?
Excitedly I asked my neighbour if he could build me a stand-alone door. Much to my excitement- yes, yes he could! I set about painting the door and ordered stickers with #FootInTheDoor - my campaign's name.
He built a frame that you could dismantle and put together, making it easily transportable. I drafted a press release to promote my stunt on Twitter and then made a list of brands and agencies I planned to visit. On the 13th of May I set off on my journey in my brother’s car (he had kindly volunteered to be both my driver and door carrier). I started the day by tweeting my Press Release, this helped me create a buzz before I had even reached my first location.
My first stop was L’Oréal – this was a company I have always wanted to work for! I stood outside with my door, taking pictures and tweeting the team!
There wasn’t long to spare, so we proceeded to the next agency, which was 3- Monkeys. As the day progressed I visited; Pretty Green, Lansons and Fever PR.
I later received a tweet from L’Oréal inviting me for a coffee with Negin Lankarani, who heads up Graduate Recruitment for the UK & Ireland! Mischief PR also tweeted me indicating that their door was “always open”.
On the same day the Nottingham Post got in touch, asking to feature my story in the paper and online. My stunt was also later featured in PR Week! It was a hectic day but, I managed to achieve what I had set out to do, and that was to get noticed!
The next day, I met with Negin at L’Oréal, she was great and went through my CV giving me invaluable advice about how to improve it. She also told me about the different opportunities at L’Oréal including the Graduate Scheme and their traineeships. Later that day I had an interview with Mischief PR and also met with Estee Lauder. Later in the week I also visited PR agency FRANK and received several more interview offers including ones from Speed PR and Good Relations.
I decided to take up the offer of a place on the Grad scheme at Mischief PR. Whilst I there, I worked across a range of accounts including; Sure, Radox, Dove Men + Care, Vaseline, Pot Noodle and The National Trust.
To my surprise, and indeed excitement, I was offered an interview at L’Oréal for their PR and Corporate Communications traineeship.
I jumped at the chance! After a number of face-to-face interviews, and a written assessment, I was lucky enough to be offered the position.
I started at the beginning of August and the role runs for a year. During my time I will assist with both internal and external communications as well as helping to create the company’s internal weekly newsletter. This whole experience has taught me to always be persistent, to never give up, and of course now I can finally say, “Because I’m worth it”.
Clodagh Pickavance is currently employed as a Corporate Communications PR Trainee at L'Oreal. To find out more about Clodagh and her journey, connect with her on Linkedin.