Higher level apprenticeships have developed to become as valued as a degree and provide a wonderful alternative to university. I would definitely say that the best way to learn is to be thrown in at the deep end and get real-world experience and this is exactly what an apprenticeship does.
Historically, apprentices are known for being the dogsbody of the office, the tea makers, the player who sits on the sideline waiting for their chance to shine. However, in the world of PR, and particularly at Oracle, this is definitely not the case. A great thing about working in PR is that no two days are the same…
Monday’s are all about preparing for the busy week ahead. We start with an office team meeting to discuss our priorities of the week, who’s in or out of the office and to share any exciting company news. I then sit down and plan my to-do list and work schedule for the rest of the week, which usually includes drafting press releases and blogs, scheduling social media posts, various brainstorming sessions and preparing for client meetings.
A typical Tuesday would involve going to a client meeting with my line manager. Within my first week at Oracle, I was asked to attend monthly meetings for clients and although it seemed daunting at first, it was the best way for me to learn on the job and build strong business rapports with people I was going to be in regular contact with. Meetings give us the opportunity to present all the great coverage we’ve gained, pitch new ideas and help us understand our client’s sales priorities, expectations and goals.
After our client meeting in Kent, it’s hard hats on for a site visit. It’s always useful to get out of the office and see all the beautiful developments in person, as it makes writing and pitching to journalists much easier; it often sparks new ideas and inspiration also!
To break up the working week, I use Wednesday’s to complete my apprenticeship coursework in the office. One of the best things about being a PR apprentice is that all of my day-to-day work and activities can be used to submit as evidence within various different units. I usually complete X units in a month, but Oracle is also really good at allowing me time to complete my work and adjusting my apprenticeship days to suit deadlines.
A Thursday could involve a quick train journey into London to meet a journalist for coffee. The best way to find out what a journalist likes to write about is to ask them! Journalists are very busy people but inviting them out for a coffee or lunch, somewhere local to them, is a fantastic way to develop a relationship with them, understand their interests and understand their audience.
PRCA training courses usually take place on a Friday which is a nice way to end the week. Most recently, I attended the ‘Presentation Skills’ training course where I developed my confidence and effectiveness in delivering presentations to an audience.
If I’m not at the PRCA, Friday’s in the office are just as fun. After completing all our work for the week, Friday’s are a chance to finish off any last minute or minor tasks. At the end of the day, we wind down for the weekend with Friday Fun, where we discuss our highlights of the week over a glass of bubbles!