Last year, I wrote a blog about my first month at Clearbox Communications, an agency which over these past months has taught me so much about the world of Public Relations and the art of communicating. I said it in the first blog and I’ll say it again – my time here has flown in, I can’t believe in just a few weeks I’ll be celebrating my first Clearbox-iversary (it is a word, I promise)
My time here has flown in, not only because of the amount of exciting and new tasks I have been faced with, but also because of how the team have welcomed me in and taught me so much – things that I firmly believe I could not and would not have learnt if I hadn’t been given the opportunity to undertake this placement.
Ten months on and I can now proudly say I have worked with internationally known clients such as Universal Pictures, brain-stormed ideas, created briefs, became obsessed with Just Live A Little’s beautiful granola bars and (very occasionally) even made the tea. This whole experience has been fantastic for me, not only as a PR professional in the making, but also as a person. I have gained so much confidence as a result of being an intern here at Clearbox and have become more efficient and outgoing as a person.
To top off this brilliant experience, on Friday 17th of July, I heard the news that the lovely people at CIPR had shortlisted Clearbox for four PRide awards!! Three of these award nominations – “Best Use of Photography”, “Arts, Culture or Sports Campaign” and “Consumer Relations Campaign”, were for the “The Tart with a Cart” campaign for the launch of Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie’s DVD release. Anyone who was kind enough to read my first blog and is still following this one may remember that this was the very first campaign I was ever involved with…and just like that, I had worked on a campaign that had been shortlisted for three awards at the most credible and recognisable awards in the Public Relations industry. I had been involved in a potentially award winning campaign! But I’m only 20 years old! I was only leaving school three years ago and now, here I am – a PR whizz in the making.
I couldn’t believe it at first, I am so proud to have been a part of something that was so successful and honestly just feel very lucky, and excited. I don’t know what to expect of the award ceremony, but I cant wait to be a part of it. I’m looking forward to meeting other Northern Ireland PR professionals and getting my first taste of the awards. Looking back at my first blog post, remembering all the hard work in the run up to the stunt and the madness that was the day itself, I am so pleased that The Tart with a Cart is getting the recognition it deserves, because a lot of hard work went into the creation of the masterpiece that was the enormous Mrs Brown in her bronzed glory. I can’t believe that it has been nearly a year since our stunt, it seems like only a few weeks ago that I was sitting on the enterprise to Dublin, only just beginning to grasp how much goes into a successful PR campaign. I would say it required blood, sweat and tears, but that would be a lie – there were no tears, there was no blood but it did require a large amount of strategic planning, hard graft and a few litres of coffee to power it all. And I loved it.
Since then I have been involved in lots of other fun and fabulous campaigns for Universal Pictures including 50 Shades of Grey, Fast and Furious, Pitch Perfect 2 and The Minions whilst cutting my teeth in the world of media relations with Amazon and CD Fairfield. I’m learning every day and I’m learning fast. I would definitely recommend anyone studying PR at university takes up the opportunity of an internship if they are lucky enough to be offered one. To be armed with practical experience on top of my learnings from the University of Ulster is invaluable as I prepare to begin my final year.
I had been interested in PR for several years prior to the Mrs Brown’s Boys stunt, having been involved in PR roles in youth organisations growing up, but this was different – I could see this being my career for the first time. It is bizarre but great to have a stunt so memorable to me be shortlisted for several PRide awards, and I can’t wait to be at the ceremony in person! I think being all dressed up with my fellow Clearboxers will make it all seem real, and will motivate me to complete my final year with good grades to ensure that this is only the first of many award ceremonies of the future.