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Fact File - Grace Corney

Name: Grace Corney

Age: 21

Organisation & Description: Cambridgeshire Constabulary. Working in Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s Corporate Communications team, no two days are ever the same. From drugs warrants to passing out parades, we are there to represent the force to the public, and highlight the varied and complex world of policing. As a team, we play a vital role in getting key crime prevention messages out there, helping to protect the vulnerable and attack criminality.

Date you started the PR Apprenticeship: January 2020

What were you doing before your apprenticeship? I studied Media and Journalism at college, took a gap year travelling Europe and waitressing at a local pub.

What attracted you to the PR Apprenticeship? I was planning on continuing my education from college, and studying a Journalism degree at uni, when I realised it wasn’t actually wanted to do. It didn’t feel right to continue on learning, I wanted to get stuck in with an actual job and take my first steps on the PR careers ladder. I saw the vacancy for PR Apprentice at Cambridgeshire Constabulary and I instantly knew it was something that I would enjoy, that would be fascinating and could help set me up in my career. From the apprenticeship description, I could tell it was a challenging and varied role which incorporates social media, media relations, marketing and internal communications – and this is just what I wanted, with the added bonus of studying a PR qualification at the same time!

What was the highlight of your PR Apprenticeship? The highlight of my apprenticeship is the people I have met and the team I joined. I work with such a lovely, friendly team who are so supportive and encouraging and they really pushed me to success. Another highlight is definitely achieving a Distinction in my final grade. This made all the hard work, deadlines, and stressful moments worth it! I’m thrilled I had the chance to deliver a real life PR campaign, which was very successful, and helped land me a fantastic grade in the end result.

What do you feel your apprenticeship helped you achieve? My apprenticeship helped me understand my potential and has increased my confidence massively. It was the chance for me to gain valuable, real life experience, which has landed me a full time position in my team! I have learnt so much, developed many skills and made lots of new connections that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

What was the biggest challenge that you overcame? The biggest challenge I overcame is probably just speaking to people! Working as a waitress, I was used to speaking to people and dealing with the public – but within PR, it’s a completely different type of speaking! I overcame my nerves of speaking to random people, asking people for things and speaking up if something wasn’t right or if I needed more. I started my apprenticeship feeling timid to even talk in a team meeting, but now I can walk into a room with my head held high and talk to senior ranking officers, people I’ve never met before, and get my point across. I also pitch to journalists regularly, and I know to not let them take advantage of you and to question as much as possible, both things I probably would’ve struggled with before my apprenticeship!

Top 3 skills a PR Apprentice needs: 

  • Time management – things can get very busy!
  • Listening skills – being able to fully understand what is needed/expected of you
  • Social media – EVERYTHING comes back to social media! Having strong social media skills is vital in standing out as a new PR professional

I love PR because… It is something different every day. It’s fun, fast-paced and interesting, and it’s a creative industry where you are constantly learning and experiencing new things!

What are your next steps? I would like to stay I n my role at Cambridgeshire Constabulary. I love the fact that no two days are the same and working for the police is such an interesting side of PR. I would love to do some more travelling and continue working in PR and Comms in different places.


Describe a campaign you were involved in and the activities you performed to bring it about…

I was in charge of the 2021 National Volunteers’ Campaign for the force. This was quite a major campaign as it was the perfect opportunity for us to show off our wonderful volunteers, but also plug a recruitment link and try and get as many new volunteers as possible. The campaign had many different elements, and I was involved in curating the social media content, creating press releases, writing internal and external features, interviewing the different volunteers, and creating infographics and video content. The campaign was very successful and we gained vast media coverage, with three radio interviews over the week long campaign. The force website also gained significant interest to the volunteering recruitment pages and several members of the public signed up to find out more about joining.