Monthly Archives: December 2017

Tomorrow’s PR Professionals

Rebecca Hankic – Senior Account Manager at Acceleris

Acceleris runs its own training and development programme, the Acceleris Academy, to offer work placements to those looking for a break into the industry, as well as upskilling the team internally. In the last three years, we’ve recruited nine people through the Academy, and offered work placements to dozens more. With the role of PR agencies ever growing and involving, it’s vital to have fresh faces to offer new skills and expertise – so keep an eye on our vacancies page for when we’re next looking to hire!

Our Senior Account Director Ellie St George-Yorke sits on the regional CIPR committee, working to promote and support the PR sector in Yorkshire. As part of a programme of activity working with local students, Ellie and I spoke on a panel as part of a CIPR Meet the Professionals event at Leeds Beckett University.

Around 20 students from Leeds Beckett’s PR course, one of the best in the country, quizzed a panel of PR professionals from agencies and in-house roles across Yorkshire, to find out more about the future of PR and routes into the industry.

With many students looking for their first placements in the industry, how to apply for jobs was high on the agenda, as well as the opportunities in the region and retaining and nurturing young PR talent in Yorkshire.

So below are some of our top tips for getting into PR as discussed at the session – and will hopefully inspire some of the PR minds of tomorrow to stay in the region!

 Tips for getting into the industry

Know your stuff

We get so many applications for work experience and placements, from local schools to colleges, Universities and people looking for their first step into the industry, so we always look for people who have a real interest in the agency, our work and the industry itself.

When applying, familiarise yourself with what’s going on, what campaigns we’ve worked on and what specialisms we have – you’ll get so much more out of your placement and help build your skill set, if you read around the subject and get as under the skin of a client as you can!

Know your worth

This is equally important. Acceleris was one of the first in the region to commit to support Leeds Beckett University’s campaign to pay interns. PR is an incredibly competitive industry, but we’re passionate about supporting everyone in having the opportunity to get experience. If you work somewhere for more than two weeks and are contributing to valuable agency work, we believe this should be recognised. For graduates just out of Uni, it can be tempting to work for free and if you can afford it, it could be a great opportunity – but don’t accept that’s the only way to get work experience – it’s not!

You might also feel you’ve not got the experience to go into PR, but the team at Acceleris has a range of backgrounds, from former journalists to in-house specialists and German and Sports Management graduates! If you want to get into PR, keep at it – don’t let anyone tell you it’s not for you!

Get stuck in

A placement or internship provides a great opportunity to work on a range of different activity and broaden your skill set. Shout up, get involved and have an open mind on what you’re working on – you might think you want to focus on fashion PR and then realise charity campaigns are more your thing!

We’re also a sociable bunch, so if it’s going for a drink after work, making a round in the office or going for lunch, get involved. We love to see team players and you can learn a lot about the industry and what a future role might entail over a pint (or a bottle of prosecco in our Company Secretary’s case!).

 

To find out more about the Acceleris Academy, visit the page on our website or get in touch at info@acceleris-mc.com

 

The Power of Social Media

Joe Sanderson – intern at Acceleris

The world we live in is a mediatised one. Don’t know what this means? Don’t worry, it’s basically a posh academic way of saying that media, in all its various forms, affects our lives on a daily basis. In the same way as talk of the Brexit divorce bill or Meghan Markle (both equally important, obviously), we can’t get away from it.

From the moment you wake up in the morning and check what your friends are eating for breakfast on Instagram, to your bleary-eyed scrolling through endless cat memes to cheer yourself up at the end of a long day. From your morning paper to your Radio 2 fix on the way to work. From keeping in touch on your family iMessage group, to keeping abreast of your professional network on LinkedIn. From Twitter to Tumblr. Tinder to Pinterest. There’s no denying, media is everywhere.

This inescapable dominion of media over our society is indicative of the fact that we love to communicate. It’s a natural human instinct. We like company and we like talking to each other, and gone are the days when we had to get out of bed to do so. Media and communication are subtly and inherently intertwined with our lives, probably even in ways we can’t imagine and we’re not aware of.

The key driver of this gargantuan explosion of media in the modern age is a development that, despite seeming to have been around forever, is relatively new in terms of media history – social media. In days gone by, communicating to the masses required a fancy accent and a job with BBC or The Times. Now we can all do it, whenever we want, wherever we are. Everyone has a voice.

How you use that voice is up to you, and everybody is different, as shown by the top retweeted tweets of 2017. It could be to try your luck at getting free chicken nuggets, like Carter Wilkerson, whose tweet tops the list.

Source: @carterjwm

However, where one sees free chicken, another sees a marketing and PR opportunity, and Wendy’s response is a perfect example of making social media work for your business. Companies can now communicate with their customers more easily than ever before and, as in the case of Wendy’s, can even create PR and marketing campaigns for free (below).

Source: @Wendys

Social Media can be a powerful tool for your business. Particular success has been seen in the third sector, with charity initiatives consistently gaining momentum on sites like Facebook and Twitter. For example, Andy Johnson’s, @LucidWhim’s and PC Dave Wise’s tweets raised vital awareness for mental health, breast cancer and police suicides, as well as generous donations for the relevant charities. They sit at number 5, 9 and 7 in the 2017’s top 10.

Source: AndyJohnson08

Source: @LucidWhim

Source: @CopThatCooks

Even humorous messages from celebrities like Jeremy Clarkson or Peter Crouch have the benefit, of boosting their personal brand and popularity. Jeremy’s dab and Peter’s family catch-up tweets placed 6th and 8th respectively.

Source: @JeremyClarkson

Source: @petercrouch

Source: @BarackObama

In the case of politicians, the personal branding opportunities that social media allows are a powerful campaigning tool, as seen in the recent US and UK elections, with all candidates being extremely active on Twitter. Barack Obama is one politician who has expertly used social media to create a positive personal brand and his tweet in August about race equality was 4th in the top 10.

If you’d like to view the full list of 10 top retweeted tweets, please visit http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/revealed-most-retweeted-posts-2017-11640862.

Further, if you would like more information on how to harness the power of social media for you and your business, please contact Acceleris on 0845 4567 251.

An Intern’s Insight: Henry, Research Assistant

Acceleris offers internship through Disability Action Yorkshire

Henry Acceleris Research Assistant Disability Action Yorkshire internships

Henry, Acceleris Research Assistant

“Going to Acceleris has helped me feel more confident in myself and more positive about finding a job…”

Henry recently joined the Acceleris Academy programme as an intern through the agency’s partnership with Disability Action Yorkshire. Henry, 20, is from Ripon and is currently enrolled at York College studying Hospitality, having also done an ICT course last year.

He joins us for a couple of hours each week as Research Assistant, supporting the team on vital tasks such as media coverage books, researching diary dates and events, and creating spreadsheets. He has even helped with magazine content plans for the Writers Inc. department.

We sat down with Henry in between tasks to get to know him a bit better. Continue reading