Harriet McCulley is a journalism student at Birmingham City University, who recently joined us at Aira for a two week work placement. Here’s a blog post and an infographic she created to explain and illustrate what she learned.
Having some knowledge and experience in traditional and broadcast PR, I was intrigued to learn about how digital PR worked in comparison.
The short answer: it’s more advanced.
Digital PR, I’ve now learned, is one of the fastest and most effective forms of PR. In comparison to traditional PR, it allows you to use different platforms to tell your story, as well as making it accessible to a huge number of people all around the world.
During my placement at Aira I worked with different clients including Travel Supermarket, RS Components, Wordery and On The Go Tours. This was really beneficial as it helped me understand different types of campaigns for different clients and allowed me to develop my communication skills and confidence.
I learnt about the importance of creating media lists and how to outreach, as well as participating in ideation workshops and brainstorms.
Something I loved about Aira was the freedom to create whatever you wanted for a campaign. By creating strong relationships with their clients, Aira has pretty much free rein in terms of the content they produce, which of course is to a very high standard.
I was given the chance to get creative too – check out this infographic I designed to visualise the things I learnt while on my two week placement.
Coming from a journalism background I was keen to get my hands on some copywriting and learn the difference between writing for press and writing for PR.
What I found was that writing for press is more about telling a story, whereas writing for PR is similar to data journalism, where facts and figures are the lead.
It is also important to keep the client in mind when writing your copy in PR, as ultimately you’re aiming to maintain a positive view and increase awareness of the client.
I spent some time with an Aira designer, who talked me through his role, the design ideas behind campaigns, and also showed me different platforms to look at for inspiration, which was super useful.
Something I am keen to learn about and improve are my design and developing skills. I am looking to start a blog as a result of this work placement, which will allow me to use infographics, GIFs and static posters to create data-focused pieces readable by everyone.
What I have found, is that it is important to know more than just your own role. For example, you could be a digital PR executive, but knowing a bit about design and SEO will massively improve your overall thought process when considering new campaigns.
With the rise of digital platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and the ever growing use of the internet as a primary source of news, it is key for PRs to consider the move into digital – something Aira is leading the way in.
Aira consists of a team of highly talented individuals, who are both professional and super friendly. Aira should be proud of the network of employees they have built and the amazing pieces of content they have produced.
Before my two week placement, I couldn’t have told you what digital PR was, but not only am I now confident in what it is, I am able to create digital campaigns and data-driven stories of my own.
My future career choice is certainly one in the field of digital PR.
We’re delighted to say that Harriet will be returning to Aira as a digital PR intern in June, after she finishes her journalism degree (and not just because she says nice things about us!)