My week of work experience at TALA: Matt

Our interns and work experience students range from school pupils to undergraduates, and in June we were joined by Matt Haldane, a first-year Multimedia Journalism student at Coventry University.

In this blog, Matt describes his packed week getting an insight into public relations, media and politics, as well as demonstrating his social media skills.


Monday


For my first day of the internship at TALA I was excited to see what I’d be getting up to for the week. I arrived almost an hour early to the building and met up with Declan (who happened to be the only one in the office that day, along with a very cute dog who also greeted me).


First on the agenda was getting an overview of the week and an overview of everything that goes on at TALA. I received my schedule for the week and was glad to see I’d be kept on my toes. At 10:00am I spoke to Harriet where she introduced me to some of the clients that TALA works with. We also discussed my timetable for the week. After my call I sat my first exam since secondary school, to test my knowledge of the PR world. I got 50% on this test and was reassured that this was a good attempt since I’ve not had much PR experience.


Now it was time for me to begin my first task of the day. My job was to “Make canned food cool”. I began brainstorming some ideas but lunch had already rolled by so I grabbed a snack quickly. I continued my powerpoint of ideas until 4pm as I had a meeting with Heather to talk about another task that I’d be doing. Heather briefed me on a healthcare organisation, and set me working on a powerpoint researching multivitamins. Before I could finish, my first day had flown by and it was time to head home.


Tuesday


Today was my second day at TALA for my week as a PR intern. The office was full today and I was introduced to a lovely band of people who looked bright and enthusiastic to start the day. I met with Harriet and Declan to get my tasks for the day organised and eager to begin.


First off, I had a meeting with Chris where he gave me a media training course, which I found quite intriguing as I’m often used to asking the questions to someone rather than learning how to prepare for interviews with reporters and journalists. After the meeting I finished my task for Heather from yesterday and sent it off, and immediately began my next task of the day which was to help Lotta with a competitor analysis. During lunch I enjoyed a friendly chat with my colleagues where we discussed our times at school.


Following Lunch I met with Barney who he introduced me to another task, creating 3 draft posts for a new car that is being launched. Having previous experience creating social media posts for companies I quite enjoyed this challenge and enjoyed the creativity behind it.
To finish off the day I sat in on a meeting with Harriet, Lotta and Helen where we discussed content ideas for one of TALA’s clients. It was great watching those three brainstorm ideas for content and how they could stand out from the competition.


Wednesday


I arrived into the office and finished off my task for Barney, creating draft social media posts. I really enjoyed completing this task as it is something I want to get into as a career. Next I had to research something I am very passionate about, Podcasts. For this task I had to look for a podcast that a client for TALA could go on to share news about their new project. I created a table and filled it with all the relevant information needed and even added some podcast suggestions of my own before sending it off to Harriet to look at.


It was reaching midday and I still had Lotta’s task to complete. A quick bite to eat and I continued researching companies’ social media pages for Lotta. I found this task quite challenging because it was difficult finding themes and trends in each of the companies pages, but at the same time I really enjoyed this task as it challenged me to use my experience working with previous companies to spot which posts and pages received the best engagement.


At 15:00 I had a catch-up with Lotta, who talked me through a website called Cision, which shows you how to find any journalist or media outlet in the UK. I found this really interesting as it can find you a relevant media person to suit your needs within seconds. After the Cision meeting I spoke with Barney about the 3 social media posts I had drafted. He praised me for the work I had done, saying I had pretty much smashed it, which was great to hear.


Thursday


Today I started by finishing some work for Harriet where I had to draft some answers for a journalist’s questions. I found this quite challenging as I only had a vague understanding on the topic being talked about and also because I’m used to asking questions and not answering them.


Speaking of journalists, my first workshop of the day was with Lou where we looked at the different types of journalism and types of PR. I enjoyed this because I’d already covered most of this subject in my first year at university. It was great talking about PR and Journalism with Lou though as she was very knowledgeable on the subject. By the time our conversation finished it was straight into another workshop, this time it was politics with Chris. Normally politics bores me to the point of sleep, but this workshop with Chris was excellent. He made it very engaging and it was filled with new things I’ve never heard of before. I now know what a “whip” is in politics, and no it’s not something to lash MP’s with.


As lunch rolled by I began my task from Lou which was to read through a variety of newspapers and answer some questions for a test. This was relatively easy as I’ve studied the different types of newspapers and how they present stories as part of my course. The day ended sooner than usual today but that was because the TALA team had their award show during the evening (hopefully they win!).


Friday


Final day of my very busy week at TALA. I must admit, this week flew by way too quickly, but it was a week I’ve enjoyed greatly. Just like Monday the office was empty besides myself, Declan and Andrew. In the morning all I needed to finish was some research into newspapers for Lou and research into podcasts for Harriet. These were both completed before lunch, which was a mistake on my behalf as it meant I had an afternoon of getting Declan to find work for me to do!


I also spoke to Andrew in the morning where he set me a task of adding some notes on social media to a powerpoint about PR. This was fairly simple for me as social media is something I am quite familiar with as I use it consistently and I’ve been studying it in Uni.


During lunch I created my own Ferrari and Aston Martin car, fantasising myself owning both of them. I only did this as it came after a conversation with Declan about cars and EV’s and which ones we’d like to own. During the afternoon, because I had not much to do, Declan put me on renaming some company photos. Must admit, not my favourite thing to do but it was better than nothing, at least I got to see some of the fun that the TALA team get up to during the year.


To finish off my final day, Lotta sent me a final task creating a calendar of the events that the National Memorial Arboretum does throughout the year. It was interesting to see what kind of events they put on considering they are a memorial place, but they had a lot going on! And with that task being sent off, I was finished for the week.


It’s been a great experience working at TALA, between meeting the amazing group of people who work there and the engaging work that I was set for the week, it was truly a 10/10 internship experience. Who knows, maybe this’ll persuade me to begin a career in PR…

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