Mind the Gap: Freshman blog under construction

So here it is. My brand spanking new PR blog. Something I’ve been talking about since… well… about two and a half years ago. My procrastination wasn’t entirely unjustified. I’ve spent the past few years getting stuck into a linguistics degree, part time work and writing for a number of online publications, yet, I’ve always wanted a little writing space of my own.

Well if there was ever a time to pick up the keyboard and take the plunge, the New Year has to be it. I don’t usually go in for the whole New Year, New Me trend (as you can probably tell since we’re in the third week of January), but this year I just so happen to be approaching the halfway stage of hands down one of the best of experiences of my life. Placement year. Yes, somewhat ironically, you find me writing at one of the busiest stages of my career, juggling a full-time corporate communications placement with Airbus, university assignments and, now, a PR blog.

Indeed, I can’t promise I’ll be posting articles every week but rather a steady stream of content in my freshman year of blogging. Anyone working in the world of comms can attest to the mile-a-minute nature of the industry and while technically still a full time student with a research project to get stuck into, the phrase ‘spare time’ can seem like a bit of an oxymoron. However, this is not to say I’m not committed to my new blogging venture. I did consider calling the site ‘PlacementPR’ but I’m determined this won’t be a short term endeavour. If my placement has taught me anything so far it’s to throw myself in at the deep end and embrace every opportunity that comes my way. After all, you never learn anything new in your comfort zone.

So, a little bit about my placement adventure then – and it really it is an adventure. I’m currently 6 months into my corporate communications internship with leading commercial aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, and I certainly feel a fully integrated member of the comms team. As any seasoned PR professional will tell you, every day in the industry is different. Fast-paced, flexible and fun, in comms you receive a lot of ad hoc requests and things from the left field that suddenly pop up on your radar, but life is certainly never boring.

With responsibilities spanning across internal communications, community engagement and media relations, I can go from writing press releases and internal news stories to stakeholder management and media handling in a ‘typical’ day. Whatever that is. It’s fair to say I’ve learned more from my placement year than I ever could have imagined and I still have a long way to go. To say I wholeheartedly recommend Airbus’ internship scheme and the placement year in general, is a monumental understatement. For anyone looking to get a rounded and practical insight into corporate communications, or indeed any industry, a placement year is invaluable.

Having experienced the corporate world for half a year now, the very thought of returning to academia is surreal. But that, in essence, is the very point of this blog. This is not just a means to ramble on about my placement experiences, brilliant as they may be. More than anything, I want this to be an interactive space to share, discuss and critique the latest PR trends, challenges and industry news. As a young professional hoping to break into the communications and PR sector post-graduation, be it in-house or agency, I want to connect with fellow PR bloggers to seek advice, knowledge share and network. Whether anything can be learned from by scribblings remains to be seen but if you are kind enough to read, comment or share, I hope you’ll find it worthwhile stopping by.

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