Fish out of water

It is difficult to summarise what has certainly been a whirlwind month as an intern at Purplefish. During my short time on board I have learnt and developed many key skills, such as speaking to clients and working to deadlines. My day could range from calling newspapers to media monitoring at a carnival to organising a street team.

My internship allowed me to experience all different aspects of Public Relations and grow my confidence and creativity. No two days at Purplefish were the same as each week brought new clients, challenges and exciting project opportunities.

To be completely truthful, a month ago I had only a vague idea of what a job in PR would involve and many of the assumptions I had about the industry turned out to be wrong. Having now completed my internship hopefully I can shine light on some common misconceptions I had about PR and others may have too.

“Leave the creativity to the advertising agency”

Growing up with a passion for creative design when asked what I wanted to do in the future my default answer was advertising. Prior to my internship I had wrongly dismissed PR as the ‘boring’ admin side to an otherwise creative advertising process. I can now confidently say that isn’t the case – the two agencies work side by side and both have equal say in the final product. Creativity is encouraged at Purplefish and I was given many opportunities to put forward my ideas.

“It’s all just drafting press releases”
Writing press releases is just one aspect of PR. And the process itself is much more than simply summarising a story – it involves research and contacting publications. Moreover, press releases aren’t as mundane as you might imagine. I particularly enjoyed the journalistic aspect of the work, researching into projects and industries I’d had little knowledge of and developing a deeper understanding of other businesses.

“Interns just make the coffee”
Not at Purplefish, as soon as I started I felt part of the team. Initially responsibility can be daunting, but I would have never learnt as much as I did in a month had I not been thrown into the deep end from the very start. Whilst everyone in the office is highly knowledgeable about all aspects of PR, it’s fine to be inexperienced. Everyone was really helpful and happy to share their knowledge.

“You never run out of water when you are on a boat”
Yes, you’re surrounded by it but when you get through cups of tea at the rate Purplefish do, the supply runs dry!

PR wasn’t what I expected, it was so much more. It is easy to become fixated as a student on a certain career path without considering the other roles that exist within the industry. My advice to anyone interested in the media sector is to be open-minded and try themselves in various roles – you might find it a lot more fun than you expect.

Thank you Purplefish for a hugely enjoyable month and I wish you all the success in the future.

Sasha Semple