Nerve Online spoke to final year Communication and Media student and all-around great dude, Joe Hiscocks, on his placement year and future career at London-based agency Fever PR.
Hey Joe, thanks for letting us interview you. Please could you tell us at Nerve Online some more about your placement experience? Who are Fever PR?
Fever PR is a boutique consumer agency based in Soho, London. We specialise in creative campaign planning, social media and influencer relations for the likes of Sky, PlayStation and EE. There is no such thing as an ‘average day’ working in a fast-paced PR agency in London, aka, the centre of the universe, that’s one myth I’d like to dispel. Some days you could be dining at the Shard for lunch and having cocktails in London’s trendy West End for dinner, others you could be munching on a one thousand page coverage report for a product launch. Swings and roundabouts, ya dig? PR does deserve its swanky, cushy, reputation however much hard work it requires, that has to be said.
What was your role at Fever, and what were your responsibilities and duties?
I was an Account Assistant, so I’d be responsible for the day to day activities on a multitude of clients, and my duties would include pitching to journalists, brainstorming with a creative brief and general housekeeping jobs. Sky, EE, Logitech and Deezer were my accounts, so there was a lot of juggling involved due to the size of the clients I was dealing with!
Thinking back to your placement year (how time flies!), could you talk us through your application process, and how you managed to secure your role?
To be frank, I didn’t go through a ‘normal’ application process. I originally started looking at those corporate ‘placement schemes’ that the likes of Xerox, Panasonic and HP have year after year. After getting to the umpteenth stage of the Microsoft placement process, I was scheduled to have a video interview, so I sat in my student room with a shirt, tie and pyjama bottoms on. The Microsoft video interview, however, wasn’t much of a video, it was more of a pre-recorded cartoon that asked me some questions. I didn’t expect Bill Gates, but I did expect somebody made of flesh and blood, not a CGI character made by the work experience kid. It completely put me off the traditional way of applying for jobs. I shut the lid on that and immediately googled ‘creative PR agencies London’, and fired off 10 different cover letters with 10 different CVs attached. A couple of weeks later, I got a phone call from Fever inviting me in for an interview. They sent me three campaign briefs that I had to answer two weeks before my interview, meaning all the uni work did get put on hold from there, but I got the job, I passed second year of uni, and the rest they say, is history!
You’re one of the lucky ones who has managed to secure a job with them after you graduate- You must have impressed them! What advice would you give people who are looking to get a job in PR?
The advice I’d give to people wanting to get a job in PR is to not restrict yourself to your immediate horizons. Don’t just apply for the jobs that have been advertised –
don’t be afraid to write to, email or even tweet different companies or agencies that you like the look of.
As PR is an increasingly competitive industry, employers are looking for graduates that can think outside of the box and have that ‘certain something’ about them.
Another key element that employers look for aside from your degree is whether you understand the latest trends and technologies, that you can demonstrate that you understand the news agenda , and that you can show that you’re aware of what’s hot and what’s not. Understanding and living these things will make you a valuable PR.
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