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Work experience: “my first few strides into the big wide world”

Hamish McCorriston, a year 11 student at Colyton Grammar School, joined us for a week’s work experience in October. Here’s what he learnt during his time with the KOR team.

As a year 11 student on the verge of moving into the progressively more demanding world of exams, university and (eventually) work, it becomes important to think about what you want from your next steps in both education and lifestyle, something that is rarely straightforward to figure out. As school is primarily focussed on learning the curriculum and preparing for GCSEs, work experience is undeniably invaluable, with my week at KOR being a great help in aiding my first few strides into the ‘big wide world’.

Initially, I was very unfamiliar with a lot of different aspects of public relations, however my week at KOR has vastly developed my understanding about the industry, as well as more specifically educating me about key business to consumer interactions and different ways of effective communication in the modern world.

My first insight into the workings of the company came when I had the chance to sit in on the Monday morning meeting where aims and tasks for the week were outlined, showing me the range of projects that KOR has a key role in managing. My time researching clients further helped me understand the different jobs that KOR has to carry out in order to work effectively, the importance of knowledge about clients and related stories (whether social media comments or news reports) becoming apparent along with the thought processes that go into generating a response.

As well as this, I had the opportunity to go on both video and photo shoots thanks to Jake and Guy, an experience that was both interesting technically but also underlined the importance of the visual aspects of communication, something that can draw readers in and has the ability to tell a story in its own right.

This visual dimension of publicity was made even clearer when I spent time researching websites and social media accounts of different businesses to look at a range of online communication techniques and how they could be implemented positively for KOR’s clients, something that gave me an understanding on how a wide range of companies present themselves and their products towards customers on a wider scale.

I refined my research skills when asked to investigate a rapidly growing industrial sector. This allowed me to recognise the importance of knowledge about different industries that KOR has to have, an inference that is supported by the extensive collation of statistics showing reach, circulation and potential impact of previous stories in the client coverage books. It quickly became clear that this was a key tool in recognising and developing the best possible strategies of exposure for different clients.

As the week went on, these different yet significantly intertwined aspects of PR all seemed to merge together in order to produce results that are then seamlessly presented to the outside world in press and online.

With all the skills, knowledge and experience I have gained in my time at KOR, I look forward to see what comes next in the approaching years. Thanks to Guy, Annette, Pip, Buster and everyone else at KOR for helping me learn about the skills required for PR. It was an informative, interesting and enjoyable week.