Last year I began my journey as an apprentice at Altecnic LTD with the PRCA, the Public Relations and Communications Association. With help from both my colleagues at Altecnic, and my mentor at the PRCA, I am working towards my Level 4 Public Relations Diploma whilst also working full time. Managing this has been extremely hard due to COVID and I have had to adapt the way I both learn and work, with a shift to more digital styles. However, I have still been able to fully immerse myself in my role and my learning.
What is the current highlight of my apprenticeship?
Throughout the first few months of my apprenticeship, I have had many highlights, from completing my first campaign, to completing my first project. However, the best moment for me has been seeing my first Christmas giveaway go live and have such a positive reaction from my target audience. I was able to use some of my theory and additional learning to elevate my campaign and boost the engagement on our Twitter account. It was amazing to see that all my prior planning and preparation led the campaign to run smoothly and have excellent results. I was also able to work closely with my colleagues at Altecnic and learn from their experiences.
How have I developed through this apprenticeship?
My apprenticeship has helped me flourish in my interpersonal skills, developing relationships with a range of people who work in different roles to me. This is especially true through my relationships I have built with both the regional media and, most importantly, the trade media. It has been key for both Altecnic and I to build strong relationships with our trade media so that we can better our coverage and spread the awareness for the Altecnic brand. In addition to this, by being able to establish and then develop these relationships in my first few months of working, I have been able to build on invaluable PR skills that I will need beyond the apprenticeship itself.
As well as this, I have been able to develop my understanding for writing for different audiences and how to effectively target the specific audience. This has been extremely helpful as Altecnic have many audience types through working in different areas of the industry and generally trying to engage the end user of our products (our customer’s, customer’s customer). All these audience types have specific persona types and must be targeted in a certain way in order to gain the engagement and interaction desired. For each piece of writing, I produce I must ensure that I think about the style of writing, the type of writing and, most importantly, the audience I am trying to reach with this piece. Through working with both my colleagues and my mentor, I have been able to gauge how best to target each audience for different circumstances, whilst also portraying the brand guidelines.
Both of the above skills have been able to be developed because I am both understanding the theory behind PR and communications, as well as being able to use the theory in real life situations. This has given me a deeper understanding of what PR and communications is truly like and how I can utilise my knowledge to better my role.
How has COVID-19 impacted my apprenticeship?
Firstly, I am extremely lucky to have an apprenticeship in something I love learning about and doing every day during these unprecedented times. However, it would be ignorant to ignore the impact that it has had on the PR industry as a whole and my apprenticeship. Luckily, I have still been able to work and learn throughout the pandemic, especially as some PR and marketing teams have been put on furlough. Myself, my colleagues, and the PRCA have had to adapt our methods of communicating, producing work, and doing the general day-to-day roles of a PR Assistant. For example, there has been a massive push in the digital content that Altecnic are producing, as well as all my work and meetings with my mentor having to be online. Due to this, I have been able to explore numerous ways of communicating digitally, which has been extremely beneficial for me. Being more accustomed to digital communication, I have been able to keep up to date with modern trends and consistently meet my audience’s needs.
Overall, my first few months as an apprentice PR and Communications Assistant for Altecnic can only be described by one word – engaging. I have spent every moment of my work life wanting to do more, learn more and experience more. I look forward to what the future may hold.