Different PR: The Adventure Begins
Recently graduated in Communication Sciences from the School of Social and Political Sciences (University of Lisbon) and committed to start a new adventure, I find myself in North Yorkshire, in the Different PR offices.
What is a Portuguese PR student doing in Harrogate, you might be wondering? It all started when I decided to pursue my studies in the UK. I packed my bags, booked my flight and arrived in Leeds to what it might be the most thrilling experience I’ve ever lived.
Passionate about Public Relations, and aware of the MA’s excellence in PR and Strategic Communication in Leeds Beckett University, this figured out to be the most promising option for me.
It was only since I set foot in Britain that I knew I wanted to start my professional life here. Why? Because the UK’s PR industry is much more evolved compared to the industry in Portugal and – to be honest – the economy shines brighter. It can be a struggle for a non-native student to start their professional life in a foreign country. This is even more evident when brilliant written and oral skills are required from PR practitioners and when there are thousands of PR students (and even professionals) that are seeking jobs!
After being familiarised with the word “no”, Different PR gave me the chance I needed. When I sent Different PR director David Simister an email, he kindly invited me to visit the premises. The office is small and cosy and you’re always welcomed by Bodie – a playful and adorable Labrador!
Certainly, there is always a pressure on making a good first impression. You never know what to expect and you definitely don’t want to be a burden. The first day I arrived, David talked to me about the agency and their clients, and I got to work! It was for the first time, on a professional context, that I wrote three news releases. It was also the first time I wrote a news release in a language other than Portuguese! I am sure this placement will make me improve my PR skills.
Today is my second day in the office and I am starting to get to know all Different PR’s fantastic and diverse clients. Starting to feel part of the team, I was set a challenge: to start a blog. My next entries will approach several subjects related to Public Relations, from the perception of a young professional looking to succeed in the United Kingdom. Others include: how to overcome difficulties such as language and cultural barriers; how to use past working experiences in your favour; and how PR is taught and seen in two different countries – United Kingdom and Portugal.