Name: Lucy Salvage
Organisation & Description: Wealden District Council – a rural council in the South East of England comprised of 41 wards covering 323 square miles; the largest district council in East Sussex with a population of over 160,000 residents. Core services include council tax and business rates collection, revenue and benefit support, housing services, planning services, waste and recycling collection, electoral services, environmental and public health services.
Date Started the PR Apprenticeship: August 2019
What were you doing before your apprenticeship? I was in a year into my role as Media and Communications Officer at Wealden.
What attracted you to the PR Apprenticeship? Being new to comms to and PR I wanted to secure a professional qualification, not only to establish myself as an expert in the field, but also to ensure that I could compete in the jobs market.
What was the highlight of your PR Apprenticeship? Gaining a distinction after a very challenging two years, both personally and professionally.
What do you feel your apprenticeship helped you achieve? My apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to become a recognised professional in an area of expertise that I am passionate about. I never went to university and was always led to believe that I couldn’t progress in media and journalism without a degree. Obviously this advice was wrong, and my success has proved that apprenticeships can be just as a fulfilling experience, if not more so, than university. I’ve made far more valuable connections and progressed a lot further professionally completing the PRCA apprenticeship than I would have done in a full-time educational setting.
Top 3 skills a PR Apprentice needs:
- Excellent all round communicator
- Influencing and negotiating skills
What are your next steps? I am currently weighing up my options in terms of new career opportunities. I would like to progress into a role which is predominately social media and digital content based, preferably for a charity or public sector organisation.
Describe a campaign you were involved in and the activities you performed to bring it about:
I recently led an anti-littering campaign which focused on people taking home their litter if they couldn’t find a bin. It also highlighted the damage litter can do to our environment and wildlife. I used behavioural insights and nudge theory techniques to construct core messages and influence public attitudes towards littering. I worked closely with community litter picking groups to create positive engagement on social media, and conducted interviews with other stakeholders to generate thought provoking content. I also spent a lot of time taking photographs of litter to include in content design. My personal camera reel was literally full of rubbish! Over an 8 week period we had over 112,000 impressions and over 8,000 engagements on social media. Far exceeding our usual engagement levels. Complaints about litter into our Waste Management Team also reduced.