During this module, I chose to work with a new student-led charity called Refugee Hope as the Media and Promotions Manager. The placement was based in Coventry and took place over several months.
I worked in a small team to manage the charity’s social media platforms, act as a representative with the media and network with other industry professionals.
I chose this placement because I’ve been interested in Public Relations for a long time so this was a great stepping-stone into the industry. The position as a manager gave me full responsibility to oversee all media-related decisions. It was a real insight into the professional world of PR.
I have been involved in the process of launching Refugee Hope since October. The charity is the result of a culture-exchange programme that I took part in last September. After travelling to Jordan and seeing the Syrian crisis first-hand, we decided to provide aid when back in the UK. This encouraged me to apply to work with Refugee Hope because it was an opportunity to work with an organisation that I had a personal connection with while learning more about the industry I want to work in.
I have been working with Refugee Hope since December. Since the organisation is in its early stages, the small team have been dependant on my skills as the Media and Promotions Manager. My main responsibility was developing the charity’s social media strategy so relevant content reaches our respective audience. This placement has given me the opportunity to apply and enhance several media relations’ skills I learnt from the module, Communication Practice. For example, I have learnt how to build strong connections with professionals in my chosen field and I now understand the heavy workload that comes with working in PR.
Also, I was able to apply Morgan’s concept on digital PR and content marketing when I was writing press releases and it worked perfectly. During this placement, I used my journalistic writing skills to curate relevant content, including photos and articles, to drive public awareness and engagement. This gave me the chance to apply particular theories I learnt about the inverted pyramid and news values when creating content for a particular audience. I also helped organise the charity’s launch event, which was very successful. Our media team created various promotional videos to encourage membership and this was very beneficial because I was able to learn more about the technicality of media production and broadcast.
I created articles for newspapers, created membership forms, promoted the charity at volunteering fairs and publicised the events.
Although, I’ve always wanted to become a professional multimedia journalist, this experience has changed my ideal career plan. I’m now interested in PR too. I really enjoyed the challenges of organising events and planning promotion strategies.
This professional experience will benefit me because it’s enhanced my CV and given me an opportunity to apply everything I’ve learnt in a practical setting. It’s also given me the chance to identify the gaps in my skills. I’m not confident when it comes to editing and when working in a small team, this meant sometimes I was needed to edit posters and videos for promotional purpose. I struggled to get to grips with the broadcasting side of the role but for the future, I will continue practicing using Adobe software to ensure I can confidently apply for journalism and media jobs where I’ll need to use editing skills.
To sum it all up, this was an amazing opportunity. I learnt a lot about my chosen industry and what I need to improve before I start applying for professional public relation jobs. Ideally, I would’ve also loved to work with a bigger organisation such as BBC or Sky but I feel like this small organisation taught me a lot and also gave me more responsibility.
I was thrown into the work and there was a lot of pressure to organise the launch event and promote it well. If the promotion failed, the event wouldn’t have had such a great turnout. I’m really pleased with all the professional experience I’ve gained from working with Refugee Hope. To read more about my professional experience, take a look at my blog: www.aishaditta.wordpress.com