Emma studies Journalism and is working as a Marketing Assistant on her placement year. She tells us about working on marketing campaigns or PR management for clients such as Channel 4 programmes and juice brands and how her uni modules have helped her.

Who do you work for?

I work for JaxPR – a small but energetic marketing, PR and events-based agency in Essex. The business takes on a range of different clients in the public relations and marketing department, from the education sector and community-based organisations to juice brands and Channel 4 programmes, and I get to support the team in all these areas.

What is your role?

My role at JaxPR is marketing assistant. I support the team with any marketing campaigns or PR management needed for our clients. This includes organising the production of all marketing materials, planning promotional events hosted by the marketing department, maintaining great relationships with clients and delivering pitches.

Every day is different on my placement: One day I could be travelling to from Kent to Essex to interview our clients for an exciting rebrand, other days I could be creating a social media schedule for a months-worth of original and exciting content. My role is really interesting and I’m lucky that my colleagues gives me projects to assist with on areas they know I’m passionate about – such as social media marketing and PR management.

How is working during a pandemic?

I work remotely from home and meet my co-workers through Microsoft Teams for calls almost every day. At first, I was worried that working at home wouldn’t work as I would spend all day in my pyjamas and not work to my full potential. But creating a routine, sticking to it and having great communication with the people I work with has pushed me to work harder than ever as a marketing assistant (even though there are some days I still work in my PJs!)

What have you learnt so far/what skills have you developed?

On my placement, I’ve been given a lot more responsibility and trust in my role than I would have been given at a larger business. In my first few months of working at JaxPR, I assist in leading a number of our client’s social media sites, write urgent press releases and deal in crisis management. Being at the forefront of the business and learning on the job has helped me so much in maturing and gaining confidence in what I’m doing.

I’ve also further developed many of the skills I’ve learnt from my modules at university, such as writing press releases and creating social media schedules for clients. Learning the basics of these on my course gave me a really great background knowledge before starting work that gave a good first impression when I started.

Highlight so far?

My highlight so far has been briefing, creating and sharing social media content over on our client’s Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Going into my placement, I told my employer that I was most interested in social media and food marketing and was put on projects that lined up with what I was passionate about, which has been amazing experience for the future.

My largest project so far has been working with a community-based arts festival in Essex called T100 Calling. For this client, I came up with original social media content across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, briefed our graphic designers on the social artwork, liaised with the client to discuss any changes and scheduled the posts to go out at high-engagement times. Being able to have a body of work that I could put my name to and use in portfolios following my graduation is really great.

What are you working on in the future?

The next thing I’m working on is our company’s Christmas takeover. This has involved creating gift bundles for our clients, coming up with exciting social content and creating and pricing seasonal logo packages that we will be offering in the future.

We’ve also got lots of things planned for the next few months with a number of our clients. This includes a re-brand of one of our largest clients, Christmas news stories being planned for our PR clients, and I’ve even been working on the location/admin side of a Channel 4 TV programme that will be coming out next year!

What would you say to a student considering a placement?

Be patient when trying to find a placement and don’t lose faith when searching! The Creative Careers team were so supportive in my search but looking for a placement for such a long period of time was exhausting and debilitating at times. I was looking for a role for 8 months (due to many offers being cancelled or re-arranged due to COVID) before I landed my placement year at JaxPR, but the role I got in the end was better suited to me than any of the others I had applied for.