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Top Tips for a successful Work Experience in Public Relations.

Don’t be afraid the agency is not as scary as the name may seem, except Chris Norton, watch out for him!

I had no idea, clue, understanding, gist or hint about Public Relations, the term I like to use for myself in a situation like this is ‘I am a blank canvas’ meaning I have no knowledge but I’m ready to learn and ready to work, so throw all the paint you can on me.  Working for 3 months at Prohibition PR, I can now officially say I have knowledge and understanding about Public Relations and its relative Social Media. So here is an abundance of tips that I have learnt from working at Prohibition PR;

First and foremost to succeed in PR you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, practice of these abilities can lead to someone having journalistic and negotiation skills, all of which are the bases or foundation of an industry, they are not just needed in Public Relations and Social Media but business and employment in general.

Ask questions, we are all taught from a very young age to put our hand up to ask a question but for some reason we get to an age (which I think is around high school), where we feel as though it’s not necessary or it’s not ‘cool’ to ask a question, however when we do reach adulthood that confidence of asking a question isn’t there, but if you want an answer, ask a question. In Public Relations, working as an intern, to really understand the business you need to be able to confidently ask questions.

‘Be on your toes’ some would say. PR is a business where people need to be quick thinking, they need to have the ability to produce ideas and generate these ideas at a fast pace because the industry is fast-moving, the industry isn’t for the swift. Public Relations is competitive, savvy thinking and catchy titles with the aim to have top link on a search engine such as; Google gains more exposure, this results in an increase in recognition and profit for a client and the PR agency.

Thoroughly do your homework, before you even step into a Public Relations firm, buy this book, The Social Media Handbook for PR and this will get you ahead of the game and ahead of second year university students studying PR. Get a real understanding of Public Relations before even applying to work in a PR firm.

Understand the importance of clients in PR. Clients is what drives a Public Relations agency as a business in general, PR is the state of a relationship between the public and a company other organisation or famous person. Clients are the core of PR, the importance of brands or clients is as important as the strings on a guitar for a guitarist; an arms-length relationship with a client is not going to harvest effective long-term results and draw other clients to the agency.

‘The power of social media’. In this day and age Social Media and Public Relations go hand in hand. As a young adult living in 2013, I know how important Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are to the young generation however it wasn’t until I started working at Prohibition PR that I understood the engagement between PR and Social Media and how this relationship best serves brands and clients. I learnt that Social Media is a powerful tool, not only for PR but for many industries in general, one being the music industry, working at Prohibition PR I created a blog post about the effects that Social Media has on the Music Industry, which ended up being posted on the official CIPR website (15 minutes of fame), from this I discovered the effects, the pros and the cons of Social Media on the music industry and the mass integration of economic, business, social and political industries on social media.

Grasp the technique of how to write a good blog post. Understand the language and distinguish between the types of languages such as; reporting like a journalist and advertising like an advertiser.  Develop or have a good eye for a story and understand the nature of the PR agency you’re working for and what stories are best suited to them, once this is understand learn to develop the ability to craft content, and write in a way that brands, future clients or the public might be attracted to.

One thing I learnt overall from the work experience that I have done over the years and was reinforced by Prohibition PR was that you should take correction and because it leads to direction, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes as an intern or on work experience, see it as a trial run and a place where making mistakes is allowed because no business or agency would take anyone on if making mistakes wasn’t allowed. I had no idea about Public Relations or this sector of media, so Prohibition PR but a foot in the door and allowed me to hop on the train of PR and develop an understanding. I decided to voluntarily work for Prohibition PR because there’s an abundance of knowledge to gain, and I understood or understand how valuable work experience is not only for me and the agency but for applying to university. Working at Prohibition PR on my gap year possibly gave me a hand up or put me at an advantage when I applied to universities, because universities see work experience as vital attribute to a student. It may have been pot luck that Prohibition PR took me on even though I had no experience in PR; however I took the bull by its horn, and just dived in with the attitude to learn and the interest in the business which employers in general want to see.

Voluntary work experience in PR builds character and confidence due to the office type of language and banter, its preparation for the big adult workplace. I will now see how working in the workplace and working at university will be two very different things. ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, I did not know anyone in Public Relations, so to what extent or what industry is this quote true? Create a catchy CV and covering letter that thoroughly and sincerely shows off your personality, experiences and skills which also reinforces your ability and interest in PR and social media because this may catch the eye of an employer. I also Google mapped all the PR agencies in Leeds to see how long my journey will be to each agency.

Quick Tips for Working at Prohibition PR

  1. Be prepared to bring a laptop.
  2. Get involved in the office language and friendly banter.
  3. Be prepared to make tea and coffee, however after an embarrassing cup of coffee that I personally made I never had to make one again.
  4. Understand that hard-work is at the centre of this agency and they consider the relationship between them and the client to be very valuable.
  5. Come with the attitude that Prohibition is a great place to work because it
  6. Understand that working for this agency does not just gain an excellent reference but in my experience it gains friendship.Always bring a great lunch, they admire that.

Overall my verdict on work experience is, gain as much as you can. A months work experience is better than 2 weeks’ worth of work experience because you get a real understanding of the business you are working for and the working environment in general.

The 10 Best April Fools Stunts

Regular pranksters Google certainly did not disappoint this year! Now I could probably write a whole post purely on Google’s April Fools stunts from yesterday, but I’ll cut to the chase:

Google Nose: First up is Google Nose, as its name implies, the service lets you search to find out what your queries smell like. You make think that only an idiot would believe it, but after reading some long technical words, many of us must have pulled our screens a little closer and had a sniff!

Google Maps Treasure Mode: Google created a treasure map mode on Google Maps along with a video announcement telling us that the ‘Google Maps Street View team’ have found a treasure map belonging to an infamous pirate. They said the map contains a variety of encrypted symbols which you are tasked with decoding.

Gmail Blue: This one is said to be a dig at Microsoft’s future Windows 8 revamp, also to be named Blue. Google created an almost two minute long video explaining the new technology that is going into their new Gmail design, only to find out at the end, that they just coloured everything blue!

Google seemed to have a bottom-less budget in their marketing and PR department this year. They also made up pranks with Google+, Australian Google Street View, Google Enterprise and…

YouTube took to their blog and posted a video to tell us that their site was set up merely as a way to find the best online video in the world. The video claimed that they had enough footage to end the competition and close down the page.

If you happened to be on yesterday (which I’m sure you didn’t), you would have got a shock. The site completely changed how it looked if you typed “google” in the rival search engine. It was still regular Bing under the surface but the layout was a copy of Google’s. And just for an extra dig, you could either press the “Search” or the hilarious “I’m Feeling Confused” button instead.

Yesterday morning Twitter announced it will no longer allow the use of vowels in tweets. The social networking site said that by eliminating vowels, they are helping tweeters to a “more efficient, and ‘dense’ form of communication.” And if you really can’t live in a world without vowels, Twttr (as it renamed itself) will allow you to tweet A, E, I, O and U for the small fee of $5 a month.

Sony Animalia
Sony had us all laughing with a video telling us they are releasing a new “Animalia” line of products for your tech product-starved pets. Because apparently your hamsters needs a good beat whilst on their exercise wheels and your cat would love some headphones to block humans out!

Virgin Atlantic Glass Bottom Plane
The folks at Virgin Atlantic Airways can never pass up an April Fools. This year they took to Richard Branson’s blog to reveal a glass-bottom airplane supposedly made so we can “appreciate the beauty of the British landscape” whilst flying!

BMW Pram
BMW unveiled a new product yesterday, a pram! Or should I say ‘the limited edition BMW P.R.A.M. (Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile).’  Available in Princess Pink or Royal Blue, the soft-top convertible has been designed especially for the arrival of the new Royal baby.

The Metro
I won’t deny it, this April fool even got me! The Metro published a roundup of stunts from yesterday such as The Sun joking that the Angel of the North will be renamed ‘Cheryl Cole’ and the Guardian trying to fool us that scientist have bred rabbits with human ears. Only when you get to the end do you realise they were all completely made up!

Sacla Italia
Italian food brand Sacla added a touch of tech to its April Fool’s joke with the announcement of its latest product, ‘Twitteroni pasta – Eat what you tweet’. Rather like tinned alphabet spaghetti, Twitteroni pasta is shaped into letters, but also includes hash tags and the @ symbol.

The Huffington Post
The latest addition to the London skyline became the world’s best thrill-ride according to The Huffington Post yesterday when they unveiled ‘The Shlide’ – the helter-skelter style slide around Europe’s tallest skyscraper, The Shard.


What was your favourite April fool’s stunt from yesterday? Is there anything I’ve missed?

The top ten topics on social media in 2012

With 2012 coming to a close its fair to say that this year has been eventful and with everything that has been going on over the past months people have been talking, tweeting and updating their statuses regarding some of the hottest topics of 2012.

From the incredible success of the London Olympics, the Queen’s Jubilee, Euro 2012, Kate’s pregnancy, oh and that popular erotic novel that got everyone talking, 50 Shades Of grey, 2012 has provided plenty of conversation across the online community and Facebook has released the stories that got people talking on a global scale.

So here are the top ten results….

10. Coming in at 10 is the mummy porn novel of the twenty first century, 50 Shades of Grey. The trilogy has sold 31 million copies worldwide and become one of the most talked about stories ever. Surpassing Fifty Shades of Greythe success of The Da Vinci code and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows it is the story of a young college student, Anastasia Steele who falls for a dominant older man, Christian Grey. With a movie in the works and the part of Christian Grey being widely discussed, it’s clear that it’s not the last we will hear on the subject. Although the trilogy faced criticism for being poorly written by experts, the sales of this novel show that despite the backlash, E.L James hit the nail on the head by catering for the public’s inner sexual desires through unusual metaphors, clichés and what she calls, “a classic love story.” I’m not too sure myself, having never read the books, I am going on what I have heard, and I won’t be picking this one up to read anytime soon.

With Credit to ellebnere for the use of this image.

9. “Oppan Gangnam Style!!” At number 9 on Facebook’s most talked about of 2012 is the South Korean export, Psy. In August of this year Psy’s infamous Gangnam style tune hit YouTube and the Gangnam Stylecharts and ranked number 1 on the ITunes chart download list over taking Justin Beiber and Katy Perry with his highly addictive and hilarious tune. Following his success PSY, is now a worldwide celebrity and has performed with the likes of Heidi Klum at the MTV awards and the Queen of pop herself, Madonna. He even received praised from Britney Spears and Tom Cruise on Twitter, his dance moves have become a worldwide phenomenon and the ‘Oppan Gangnam Style’ line was even entered into the Yale Book of Quotations. Psy and Gangnam Style got everyone talking and dancing, but will he be a one hit wonder?? Only 2013 will tell, but until then, we shall carry on dancing to the catchy “Oppan Gangnam Style…..Heyyyyy Sexy lady!!”

With thanks to KOREA.NET for the use of this image.

8. One for the ladies charted in this year’s list, American movie, Magic Mike, a tale of the life of strippers starring man of the moment Channing Tatum, British born Alex Pettyfer and ladies icon, Matthew McConaughey. The movie was loosely based around star of the film, Channing Tatum’s past stripper experiences and proved to be a huge box office success, raking in over $150 million dollars. It also managed to get people talking on Facebook and other social media platforms by fans raving about the movie online, it was also well received by critics and gained an 80% overall rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Thanks to its incredible success it has now been reported that there will be a sequel and that a script is now in the works to make the next one bigger and better.

7. This list would not be complete without mentioning the London Olympics, the famous athletic games only come round every four years and this year it was to be held in the Queens country, London England. Surpassing the success of any previous games, it blew everyone away from the people watching at home to the critics themselves. Thanks to Danny Boyle, the opening of the games told the story of British History in the most incredible way possible and began the UK’s most successful ever games. From records being broken to inspiring athletes who took part in the Paralympics, everybody gathered online to discuss the triumphs of the nation. And triumph we did with the UK totting up a total of 65 medals, 29 of which were gold our athletes did incredibly well and catapulted themselves into celebrity statuses, after suffering a summer of riots the year before we as a country redeemed ourselves and proved once more, we’re a great and talented nation.

London 2012

With Credit to Andrea Vascellari for the use of this image.

6. Stop Kony 2012 became a viral campaign started by Invisible Children Inc. to create a worldwide movement to stop Ugandan cult leader and war criminal Joseph Kony and have him arrested by the end of 2012. The organisation released and hour long video onto YouTube that went viral and exposed Joseph Konys guerrilla warfare tactics with his rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army known simply as the LRA. The video urged people to come together to stop the abuse and killing of children in east Africa and take part in a movement called ‘Cover the Night.’ The campaign asked for people to cover their local towns and cities in Kony posters to raise awareness of the campaign and they even managed to gain celebrity support from a listers such as George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey and Taylor Swift. The campaign sparked worldwide controversy from government and international officials, journalists and charity groups but it got people talking online and sharing the video, by October the film had over 94 million hits worldwide on YouTube.

5. Entering the most talked about events of 2012 at number 5 is Mitt Romney, during the Presidential election, which saw Obama triumph once again, social media, became a key player in providing support for the run up to the election results. Whilst Romney trailed slightly behind Obama on Twitter followers and likes on Facebook, he still managed to get people talking. Romney had a 49% share of voice online, just behind Obamas 51% however; Romney was slightly more favoured in online conversations. Since the Presidential election, support online for Romney has plummeted and is losing up to 15,000 likes a day, his short lived success still created plenty online conversation though.

4. In February of this year the music world mourned the loss of one of the industries most loved stars, Whitney Houston. The singer was found dead at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills after reportedly drowning in the bath tub of her hotel suite. Whitney Houston who was regularly referred to as ‘The Voice’ brought the world hits such as ‘I will always love you’ and ‘I wanna dance with somebody’. The news was a shock to everyone worldwide and got people talking online to report the death and remember the Grammy award winning singer. Award ceremonies such as the Bits held in London’s O2 arena held tributes to honour the star and I am sure that her musical talents with live on in years to come as we carry on playing her most famous songs.

3. At number three is American TV show, The Walking Dead the dramatic TV show about a Sheriff Deputy who awakens from a coma to find the world is being dominated by flesh eating zombies, nice. The show has become a huge success and recently hit 10 million likes on Facebook, a huge number for a TV show. With positive reviews across the board The Walking Dead has become a worldwide hit for viewers and the second season finale managed to achieve 9 million viewers, a record breaking amount. To show their support, fans of the series gathered online to share their love of the programme by tweeting and clicking the like button on their fan page.

2. Unsurprisingly entering the most talked about chart is what has ultimately been described as the biggest movie EVER, Marvel’s the Avengers Assemble. The movie produced incredible reviews and had an A list cast which included Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. The Avengers, released in April of this year became the fastest ever film to gross $1 Billion dollars and overall took a reported $1.51 billion dollars worldwide. On opening night the Avengers accounted for 931,100 social media posts and at its peak the film had 600,000 tweets. People everywhere loved the movie and voiced their opinions online, having seen the film myself I can honestly say that it was fantastic and well worth its rave reviews.

1. The coveted number spot of most talked about social media subject goes to…….. The Hunger Games. The first of three movies proved to be the most successful when it comes to social media. Based on the best-selling novels written by Suzanne Collins, the plot focusses on main character, Katniss Everdeen played by up and coming star, Jennifer Lawrence, as she has to kill her way through a lottery selected game to become the winner of the Hunger Games, but most importantly, to survive. The first movie from the trilogy was widely received online and hit 800,000 likes on Facebook and 1.3 million media views. Deemed to be the next big franchise since Twilight, The Hunger Games has already surpassed the success of other movies through social media and will be sure to gather more social conversation over the next few years as the other two films are released.

Is this the worst music video ever?

I had to share this video with you because it is so terrible it’s brilliant. It’s of our two favourites Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta and the dance they do is so great.

I have one question – what were they thinking when they decided to do this? I find it strangely watchable.


Branded video content in digital media

Today’s digital age has made social media the centre of most interactions. This form of communication is increasingly becoming more in demand as company’s use the World Wide Web to deliver their business ideas and marketing messages to consumers. As individuals we are faced with hundreds, if not thousands, of brands every week all of them with one goal to become the best and whilst some succeed others fall well behind.

Goviral is a branded video distribution network which looks at brands that have used video content in their marketing strategies. It investigates how video content is reviewed based on the quantity of views, the interaction of the audience, and the response they receive through materials uploaded to social networks like YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook. It investigates how brands are becoming aware of the potential that digital interaction can have between the consumers and the product by engaging them in dialogue as appose to just selling the product online, in other words giving them something to talk about. And so it is no surprise that this year Red bull is first in place at goviral’s top 100 list. On Oct 15th we saw Felix Baumgartner attempt the first record-breaking skydive engaging around 8 million viewers on YouTube. A great example of how a brand can make a connection to its product and the consumers. It certainly drew on their famous catchphrase ‘Red Bull Gives You Wings’.

It is also interesting to see some brands that have created hours of content receive only less than one million views and others creating a lot of views but hardly any audience involvement and interaction. This demonstrates Ads that fail to produce the necessary content needed to connect with the audience, for example brands like Smirnoff, Corona and Jack Daniels all listed in goviral’s 90’s fail to make an impact because they haven’t “sparked agenda-setting conversations”. Unlike successful brands like Nike, Old Spice and Red Bull that are not scared to and so continue to take risks. “An effective social video strategy can elevate a brand beyond the product, creating an experience consumers really want to part of.” Mads Holmen, planning director at goviral.

Here at Prohibition PR we regularly seed videos for clients but we always ask what are the core objective of the project. For instance is it views, engagement, likes, comments, hits, sales or is it just overall brand awareness? If you can get the brief correct at the beginning the rest of the process is far simpler. Here is a video, also below, we seeded recently for our client The Sleep Council.

Do you think a brand needs the controversy to be successful online? Have a look at govirals top 100 list HERE and feel free to share your thoughts with us.

British Boxing Blow-Up in a PR disaster for UK Sport

British boxing has taken another beating after the actions of former World Heavyweight Champion David Haye and Dereck Chisora brought the sport in to disrepute. Haye, who retired after losing the title to Vitali Klitschko, was looking to restart his boxing career by demanding a title rematch during the post-match press conference between Chisora and Klitschko, a video which has quickly spread across social networks.

However, Chisora took offence to Haye’s tactics and the two squared off in an impromptu brawl, with Haye’s trainer Adam Booth receiving a nasty cut on the head from a smashed bottle. Both men may now face jail time with Haye, accused of causing grievous bodily harm, facing the possibility of spending six months to ten years in prison if found guilty. Chisora stands accused of malicious injury and a threat which combined could lead to a six year prison sentence.

The saga must have been an embarrassment to World Champion Klitschko who was looking on from behind the microphones. He said, “I’m totally disappointed, it went a little too far, the sport of boxing shouldn’t be like that.” Having faced both men, he must have been relieved at the thought of possibly not having to face them again.

Both men are also facing the prospect of lifetime bans from the British Boxing Board of Control. The whole weekend of the fight has seen them face an onslaught of bad publicity due to the behaviour of the two. In the pre-match press conference, Chisora slapped Klitschko in what was seen as a complete lack of respect towards the champion which to him having part of the fight purse suspended.

The irony of all this is that it would be a stupid move for the BBBofC to ban the two fighters. Although having shown no respect towards their own sport and acted in an embarrassing manner, Haye returning to boxing to fight Chisora has the potential to be a high drawing match. Chisora will likely face a form of punishment from the Governing body, while the only way the BBBofC could deal with Haye would be to ban him for life as he is no longer licenced unless they were to broker a deal if he returned to the sport. Promoter of the Chisora vs. Klitschko bout Frank Warren has even hinted that the two fight each other and the winner receives another shot at the World Heavyweight Title. Now how much of a punishment is that?

Vinnie Jones’ hard and fast Hands-only CPR – A brilliant campaign

I had to share this video as I think this is a brilliant campaign from the Brittish Heart Foundation that has combined humour with a serious issue.

Many people in the UK don’t know how to give CPR and the idea of doing it to the music of Stayin Alive is just genius. If it saves one person’s life it will be a campaign worth doing.

Well done to all of those involved.

Audio-Technica Top 20 Summer Anthems

After much deliberation our client Audio-Technica has announced their top 20 summer tracks following their Sounds of the Summer campaign. They received such a large amount of varied entries they decided the only way to determine the ultimate top summer tracks was to let the public vote on it.

I even vaguely remember seeing a rather tongue in cheek song tweeted by our MD Chris Norton, Umbrella by Rihanna. Is that why the sun has disappeared behind a cloud? Most probably. Anyway, the decision has been made and the public are invited to cast their vote in the Audio-Technica Facebook Poll. There’s even a playlist of the top 20 on the Audio-Technica YouTube channel for your listening pleasure. I must admit I’m a massive fan on ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz and often find myself gravitating to the live version when browsing on YouTube (see below), true talent. Everything is enhanced with a gnome.