Work experience at DTW – an outside perspective

Last week we had the pleasure of Rachel Frost – a third year PR student at the University of Sunderland – joining us for a week of work experience. Here’s a newby perspective of week one at DTW – thanks Rachel!

My first day at DTW started a lot like I anticipated, with one of my first jobs being to write a news release. However, the release was a lot different to the ones I had tackled in the past, as it involved very confusing road works. To make it worse, road works within Liverpool, a city I have yet to visit.

As expected, it took me a while to get my head around the logistics of it all. However, I was lucky to have both Karen and Chris. They made me feel at ease, allowing me to ask questions; a lot of questions. With a lot of confusion, I finally come to the end of the release, well what I thought was the end.

Let the editing begin. The release was edited thoroughly by both Karen and Chris, which at the beginning was a bit disheartening, but as I watched the editing take place I was able to see how much better the content flowed with their input. It also taught me a lesson I’m sure I will look back on in my career, which is don’t be too protective of your own work, and remember: the client comes first. No matter how good you think your work is, it can always be improved for the client.

It wasn’t all office work, I had the pleasure of meeting Paul Grieves, a motorcyclist crash survivor, who DTW is working alongside for a case study for the Road Safety GB North East road safety campaign.

So there I was, sat on the living room floor of a women I met literally minutes ago, watching and listening to a Tyne Tees news journalist, interview a couple I also just met minutes before hand. It was surreal, yet so normal at the same time. I begin to understand why I was there, what the journalist was doing, what DTW wanted to get out of the story. I felt like I was part of the team.

I worked closely with Karen, who was heavily involved in the PR for the new bridge being built in Sunderland. I was very excited to see the site which the bridge was being built on.

As expected, it was loud, dusty and very busy, I couldn’t believe Karen and Chris both worked from what at the time looked like little huts. I walked into the site and was overwhelmed at how warm and friendly everyone was, even the most intimidating of men. It definitely opened my eyes to the different clients that I would be dealing with in my career.

I am very grateful for all the experience and knowledge I have gained during my time at DTW and strongly believe all the tasks I was ask to carry out such as social media planning, news release writing and media ring arounds, have gave me an edge when applying for future jobs.

As well as learning more about the profession of PR itself in terms of making sure clients are the first priority at all times through varied methods. I was able to witness how an agency is able to “spin plates” as Chris described it to me, keeping everyone informed, while using initiative and prioritising clients, activity and content etc.

Not only have the people at DTW made me more interested in PR, they have helped me understand what I need to do in order to further my career.

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