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Learning to 'PR' and Actually Doing 'PR'

Hannah - Cygnet PR Executive.

Gaining real world experience is imperative to have a chance within the PR industry, whatever sector you want to go into you need to know how to find the relevant information, make the connections, produce a release of interest. Hopefully be listened too and if you’re not - persevere at it until you are.

Working with Robyn Wood, who hosted the East Midlands first LGBTQ+ wedding Fair All In Love taught me a great deal. The start of understanding the difference between learning how to PR and actually doing PR.

Robyn came to us with an idea, a very well-planned, thought-out idea. There were exact dates, places, and times. Reflecting on this, it’s a dream as I know not all clients know what they want or need help with planning the event as well as the PR push.

For Robyn the aim was getting as much press as possible. We created a radio clip which could easily be played, and relevant information could be learnt in a more casual way. The final result was great but getting there was a process. My first time conducting an interview alone... and it was messy, thank god for editing software and lovely Robyn.

I then made media lists for the region and B2B magazines, sent the news release, radio interview clip and pictures to all the relevant contacts listed on their websites.

The story picked up by local Siren radio, Robyn joining them for the midweek drive programme. Lincolnshire World who manages many smaller media companies such as Horncastle News published an article on the event.

Overall, this being one of the first events I had ever done PR for I was proud to be noticed, by two local media sources, more importantly they are media sources whose values aligned with Robyn’s and the All In Love event as a whole.

Reflecting, I think it’s very easy to become discouraged when starting out, you have no contacts in the media- relying on peoples professionalism and kindness to be published, and unlike a journalist you don’t get your name on the article, so it feels like it may be never ending not being noticed. All experiences with those who did take the time to reply, was positive so it would be a shame to dwell on the many responses I didn’t receive.

Confidence is also a huge issue, starting out I found myself questioning the quality of my releases, the idea I never got replies from so many because it was badly written. Reminding myself people are busy, and usually its just slipped past their view. If I really want to get my story out there, I know it takes more than a single email. Growing my knowledge of media sources has helped this, having a mutual respect for the journalists and people involved in sharing your releases goes a long way.

I loved working with Robyn on this specific project, and still work with her more casually, using the media to grow her audience – recently Robyn’s Perfect Silhouette Hairdressing won the 2023 National Wedding Hairstylist of the year, an amazing way to start 2023!


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